The Illinois State Senate has just approved legislation for a sweeping “assault weapons” ban that is expected to pass the House and be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The bill is an adapted version of the “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” which would ban at least 100 different semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines from being manufactured or sold. The bill also makes devices intended to increase the rate-of-fire of semiautomatic weapons illegal, and increases the duration of a firearm restraining order from six months up to one year under the state’s red flag law.
Those who currently own such guns would not be required to surrender them but would have to register them with the Illinois State Police — including serial numbers. Universal firearms registration is, historically speaking, the first step towards total confiscation. Gun rights advocates in the state say they are ready to enter into civil litigation over the new law, arguing it is a direct attack on their constitutionally protected rights.
The action by Illinois comes not long after the Democrat controlled state of Oregon tried to implement a bill, known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, which would create a permit system for firearms ownership along with a list of requirements for approval by state officials. Broad permit laws for firearms have traditionally been rejected by courts because they transform gun rights into gun privileges; a direct violation of the 2nd Amendment.
Multiple Sheriffs in Oregon have stated they will refuse to enforce the law if it passes, and the bill has been frozen by the Oregon Supreme Court awaiting decision.
Gun control proponents often use imagery of high capacity semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 or the AK-47 in their campaigns because they present a more imposing psychological reaction in the public. However, the vast majority of gun related crimes involve handguns, not semi-automatic rifles. Around 60% of all gun crimes are committed using pistols – Only 3% of gun crimes involve weapons commonly referred to as “assault rifles.”
It should also be noted that Democrat run cities across the country top the statistical lists for violent criminal activity including gun violence despite the fact that they tend to have strict gun control laws already in place. The rationale for firearms bans is generally in response to a set of high profile crimes rather than an actual increase in overall violence, and such laws represent mass punishment of millions of law abiding citizens for the actions of a handful of people.