Sens. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) discussed two gun-related bills proposed by Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) before the two measures were approved at Wednesday's meeting of the Senate Executive Committee.
SB2561, a bill that only authorizes federally licensed arm dealers to sell Tannerite, an exploding target used for shooting practice, to a firearm owners identification (FOID) cardholder and keep record of the sale, and the amendment to SB559, a bill similar to the domestic violence restraining order that allows for petition to the courts authorizing the removal of firearms and FOID card temporarily from an alleged abuser for up to one year maximum, were the topic of discussion for the two Republican senators.
While Nybo said he supported SB2561 last year and would support it again Wednesday, he had more to say about SB559.
“There are reasonable things we can and should do as a state in response to recent tragedies involving gun violence and this is one that I think is reasonable and one step forward. I encourage all my colleagues to support this bill and I support it as well.”
However, Todd Vandermyde, Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois (FFL-IL) lobbyist and opponent witness, was not as supportive, saying the bill lacks due process.
“If one of our members loses their FOID card, they could lose their ability to their livelihood,” Vandermyde said, adding the individual being accused is not allowed to defend themself immediately and could be out thousands of dollars to prove their innocence in what will take much longer than Morrison suggests. We think the FOID card statue already addresses these concerns.”
Syverson found Vandermyde’s due-process testimony compelling enough question Morrison’s bill.
“Is there a due process in place or is there a 30 day period where the individual doesn’t have rights to challenge that?” Syverson asked Morrison.
“My reading of the bill, and I am not an attorney and I apologize for that, only in an emergency petition is there ex parte,” Morrison said, adding the respondent would have 14 days per the governing judge to appear in court. “I think that is due process.”
She said if the respondent cannot be tracked down, 30 days is permitted for the one-year order of firearm removal.
“If you get an angry stepson who you took his Xbox away and he has an issue or you have a security guard at the school you go to who doesn’t like you … any of these individuals can make that accusation and up to 30 days before you would have a hearing?” Syverson asked.
She said the bill is for family members who worried about a “terrible calamity” that could occur, and sitting judges should be trusted.
“Senator, we give a great deal of credence to our judicial system,” Morrison said to Syverson. “We put a lot of trust in the man or woman that puts that black robe on and presides in court.”
Syverson said Morrison needed to remember only one defense would be given.
“It would be awfully hard for that judge to say, ‘I just don’t believe you, I am not going to listen to anyone else,’ and once there is a hearing I believe you are correct, but not in this case,” Syverson said before asking what steps would be needed to have a FOID card returned after judge deems it appropriate.
Morrison said after one-year judgment, the respondent has an opportunity to go before the judge and testify a firearm is safe in their ownership.
Both bills advanced out of the committee, with only the latter seeing objection with a 14-2 vote.