ALTON - House Bill (HB) 4107 was introduced to the Illinois General Assembly by Representative Martin J. Moylan (D-Des Plaines) on Oct. 5, 2017, in the wake of the tragic Vegas shooting to effectively ban the sale of assault rifles in Illinois.
The bill would amend the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 and would make it unlawful to "deliver, sell, or purchase or cause to be delivered, sold, or purchased or cause to be possessed by another, an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge," according to a synopsis on the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov.
If passed, the ban would also make it unlawful for "anyone to knowingly possess an assault weapon, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge 300 days after the effective date of this amendatory act" with the exception of weapons registered with the Illinois State Police in the time provided.
The bill would also prohibit the delivery, sale, purchase or possession of large capacity ammunition-feeding devices as well as a "trigger-modification device."
Currently the bill is sponsored by several representatives of the Democrat party, with the notable exception of Representative Dan Beiser (D-Alton), who has not returned a request for comment to Riverbender.com.
Local gun shop Piasa Armory, located at 3685 E. Broadway in Alton, issued a statement regarding this proposed legislation, stating the following:
This bill aims to strip law-abiding citizens of some of the most commonly-owned firearms in the country simply because they have some scary-sounding features or standard capacity magazines. These firearms are in common use for hunting, target shooting and self-defense throughout our state and country every day by law-abiding citizens.
Our state and country already have laws banning the use of firearms in crime, ownership by those who are felons or domestic abuses and those who have been deemed mentally defective by a court.
Rather than passing more laws that will do nothing to decrease crime, our legislators should be focusing on encouraging the prosecution of the criminals who ignore our laws and are able to plead to lesser crimes to avoid or minimize jail time.
The statement from Piasa Armory also included the bill's banning of "trigger modification devices," defined as what are commonly referred to as "bump stocks." These modifications allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire in a fashion more commonly associated with automatic rifles.
Semi-automatic rifles are different from automatic rifles, because semi-automatic rifles require a trigger pull per shot. Every trigger pull can issue a shot, but it requires separate trigger pulls each time. Automatic rifles issue shots for as long as the trigger is held down. Different rifles have different rates of fire, even on automatic.
Using bump stocks can increase the rate of fire on semi-automatic rifles. Such modifications were used by Stephen Paddock during his Las Vega rampage.
Piasa Armory issued the following statement regarding those modifications.
The bill also seeks to ban bump-fire devices and trigger modifications that allow a faster rate of fire. While it is true that these devices serve no practical purpose (they also decrease accuracy), relegating their use to nothing more than a fun add-on to the range. These devices, which were approved by the previous administration's (Obama's) ATF, may sound scary or intimidating, but just like so-called assault weapons, that does not justify a ban.
This bill is also written in a manner that could ban any modifications to a factory-installed trigger as it prohibits any parts that accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm. Rate of fire is not an empirical standard as it is determined by the user rather than the trigger. This could potentially prohibit trigger jobs performed by gunsmiths as well.
Piasa Armory also decries the potential ban of "high capacity" magazines, describing that aspect as a "favorite target of the anti-gun crowd." In a statement, the armory described the need for magazines containing more than 15 rounds for the purpose of self-defense.
There are countless examples of use of firearms for self-defense that have required more than 10 or even 15 rounds to stop a threat. Furthermore, there have not been an demonstrable decreases in crime after the passage of similar bans in other states. The reason for this is simple: bad guys don't follow these laws, and if they can't get high-capacity magazines, they just carry more of the "legal" magazines.
Piasa Armory also described the potential ban of .50 caliber ammunition as useless, saying such weapons are used in crimes "less than screwdrivers and butter knives," adding criminals prefer small and easily-concealable firearms over large, heavy and expensive rifles.
"HB4107 seeks to ban many firearms and accessories simply because they have features that are scary or intimidating," a representative of Piasa Armory said via Facebook Messenger. "The solution is not to add more laws, rather we need to enforce the laws that we have and to prosecute those that flaunt them so willingly."
A request for comment to Illinois Representative Moylan's Des Plaines District Office was not returned after being placed Friday afternoon.
Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.