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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Illinois Politburo House wants to ban ammunition

'Tis the season for insanely draconian gun legislation to be introduced in the Illinois Politburo legislature, and they've already gotten busy. Today I'm going to take a look at no fewer than four House bills that would require ammunition to be encoded with serial numbers, and registered in a database maintained by the Illinois State Police.

The first two bills, HB 4258 and HB 4259 could be considered to be one bill--they're both called the "Ammunition Accountability Act," the text of the two appears to be identical, and they were even introduced by the same representative. Here's a summary:

Creates the Ammunition Accountability Act. Provides that all firearm ammunition manufactured or sold in the State of Illinois on or after January 1, 2010 shall be coded by the manufacturer. Provides that effective January 1, 2010, all firearm ammunition used within the State of Illinois shall be coded by the manufacturer. Provides that on or after January 1, 2010, a person in possession of non-coded ammunition that was manufactured prior to January 1, 2010, may transfer the same only to an heir, to an individual residing in another state maintaining the ammunition in another state, or to a federally licensed firearms dealer. Provides that the Department of State Police shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining an Ammunition Coding System Database (ACSD) containing specified information. Establishes penalties and exemptions.
The "coding" is applied to the base of the bullet (where it's apparently supposed to hold together through firing and impact, in order to identify the ammunition. Now these bills (or this bill, really) exempt shotgun ammunition (which makes sense--the idea of encoding the hundreds of .08" diameter pellets in a round of #9 shot is obviously ridiculous), and muzzle-loader ammunition.

The other two bills, HB 4269 and HB 4349 are both called the "Regulated Firearms Encoded Ammunition Act," and although somewhat different from the first two bills, appear to be identical to each other. Here's the summary of these bills:
Creates the Regulated Firearms Encoded Ammunition Act and amends the State Finance Act. Provides that a manufacturer of ammunition for handguns and certain specified assault weapons sold in this State after January 1, 2009 must encode the ammunition in such a manner that the Director of State Police establishes. Provides that ammunition contained in one ammunition box may not be labeled with the same serial number as the ammunition contained in any other ammunition box from the same manufacturer. Provides that on or before January 1, 2011, an owner of ammunition for use in a regulated firearm that is not encoded by the manufacturer shall dispose of the ammunition. Provides that beginning on January 1, 2009, the Director of State Police shall establish and maintain an encoded ammunition database. Creates the Ammunition Accountability Fund as a special fund in the State treasury. Provides that subject to appropriation, the Department of State Police may use moneys from the Fund to establish and maintain the encoded ammunition database. Provides that beginning January 1, 2009, each person selling encoded ammunition at retail in this State shall collect from retail customers a fee of $0.05 for each round that is sold and delivered in this State. Establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations of the Regulated Firearms Encoded Ammunition Act. Effective January 1, 2009.
These bills are apparently intended to mollify hunters, by "only" going after ammunition intended for handguns and so-called "assault weapons." This, of course, is ridiculous, as handguns have been built in nearly every caliber that rifles have, including the terrifying, airline-busting .50 BMG "weapon of war" (that's sarcasm, if you're wondering) and the .600 Nitro Express elephant gun cartridge. Additionally, "assault weapons" aren't chambered in special "assault weapon" calibers (although that little fact is conveniently ignored by the folks pushing bans of "high-powered assault weapons"), so there is no such thing as a special category of "'assault weapon' ammunition." In fact, the bill defines "assault weapon" by type, and among the designated "assault weapons" are several 12 gauge shotguns, meaning that, unlike the other bills, these two will apply to 12 gauge shotgun ammunition (.410 shotgun shells would also be affected, because the Taurus "Judge" means that .410 shells are "handgun ammunition"). Hunters take note.

Both types of bill have the program administered by the Illinois State Police--an organization that in its zeal for citizen disarmament, has no compunction about breaking the law.

In the title of this blog post, I mention banning ammunition, because although the bills won't explicitly do that, the enormous costs of tooling up to manufacture such ammunition will basically make it impractical for ammunition manufacturers to comply, meaning they'll simply have to stop selling ammunition in Illinois. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) has more on that, from when they were fighting such legislation in California (before California went the "microstamping" route, instead). If manufacturers (and retailers) would continue to serve the Illinois market, the cost of ammunition for the consumer would be prohibitive (even without the nickel per round tax imposed by the second set of bills).

By the way, neither bill mentions provisions for an exemption for hand loaders.

Illinois has apparently gotten tired of the slow progress of a relentless "slippery slope" procession of draconian laws, and has decided to push the state off a "teflon cliff."


MadRocketScientist said...

but if no one can legally buy ammunition in Illinois, then the thugs won't have any for their guns either and ya'll be safer

just ignore that wide open border ya'll share with MO, or IN, or KY, or IA. No one would DARE smuggle ammo in from there


InFerroVeritas said...

I would suggest that ammo mnanufacturers stop selling ammo to law enforcement in Ill. Let them have to "smuggle" in ammo from surrounding states. Then call them on it.