This time of year, it's something of a tradition in the Illinois
Politburo . . . er, legislature to introduce new, draconian citizen disarmament bills in hopes that they become new, draconian citizen disarmament laws. Freshman Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-24th District) is certainly on board with that tradition (which isn't surprising, really), as illustrated by her introduction last Thursday of HB 5228. Let's look at a brief summary of this bill, shall we?
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act and the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that beginning July 1, 2009, a person may not possess a handgun in the State unless the person has successfully completed a handgun safety course approved by the Department of State Police and has been issued a handgun possession permit by the Department. Provides that in determining the standards for approval of handgun safety courses, the Department shall consult with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Provides that an approved course shall consist of 20 hours of training, which shall include all of the following: (1) instruction in the dangers of and misuse of handguns, and the storage, safety rules, and care and cleaning of handguns; (2) practice firing on a range with live ammunition; (3) instruction in the legal use of handguns; and (4) a presentation of the ethical and moral considerations necessary for any person who possesses a handgun. Establishes penalties for violations.So now the requirement to have a state-issued FOID card in order to legally own a firearm or single round of ammunition isn't an adequately egregious violation of that which shall not be infringed, and handgun owners will have to beg the state for yet another government permission slip to exercise our Constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.
Readers will note that the agency that would administer this program is the Illinois State Police--an agency that is currently breaking the law in its administration of the FOID program.
The main thrust of Representative Hernandez's bill seems to be the requirement for training as part of the licensing requirement. Apparently, she thinks the violence is caused by people not knowing enough about how to use a handgun.
Days of Our Trailers has more.