Illinois Lawmakers Override Governor's Attempt to Grab Guns

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posted on December 14, 2012
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The Illinois House of Representatives has followed the lead of the state Senate to decisively override Gov. Pat Quinn's attempt ban certain types of firearms through the use of an "amendatory veto" of a bill originally drafted to permit the mail-order purchase of ammunition from in-state companies.

Last week, the House voted 78-28 to derail what was largely viewed as the Governor's backdoor attempt to implement constraints on the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles in the state. On Nov. 28, the Senate, led by bill sponsor Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), soundly rejected Quinn's attempt by a 46 to 4 vote.

In August, the Democratic incumbent governor flexed his Amendatory Veto power, effectively rewriting Luechtefeld's bill to permit residents to purchase mail-order ammunition from in-state vendors, adding language prohibiting the manufacture, possession, delivery or sale of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms used for hunting, recreational shooting and personal protection.

Quinn's proposal specifically would have banned the AK-47, AR-15 and Tec-9 and created a de facto statewide registration scheme for currently owned firearms and magazines.

In rejecting Quinn's firearms ban, Senate Bill 681 will allow Illinois residents to purchase ammunition from businesses within or outside Illinois by mail or private shipment. The purchaser of ammunition will be required provide the seller with a copy of his or her valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and either a valid driver's license or state identification card.

In the past, Illinois residents could only have ammunition shipped if it was purchased from out-of-state suppliers, effectively denying revenue to in-state vendors and retailers.

"Today is a good day for the Second Amendment in Illinois. We have scored a victory against short-sighted Chicago anti-gun policies," Sen. Luechtefeld said. "The Governor overstepped his reach when he decided to rewrite this Senate bill and impose an assault weapons ban without the measure first being heard by the legislature."

The new law will take effect July 1, 2013.

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