Bill to ban bump stocks advances after emotional debate in House
In light of the recent mass shooting at a Florida high school, five GOP lawmakers fervently expressed their feelings on proposed gun legislation.
HB1467, sponsored by Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines), was the topic of an emotional debate last week in the House regarding the gun legislation aimed at bump stocks and trigger modifications that turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic firearms.
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) was the first to address the bill language, questioning if it was clean in regards the trigger modification description and sport shooting purposes. “What environment would someone use a trigger crank besides the obvious,” Wheeler asked, to which Moylan answered for mass shootings that kill many people in small amount of time.
“That is pretty direct,” Wheeler said.
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) cited his prior military service background and the mass shooting in Nevada in 2017 before saying an automatic weapon that is banned in the U.S. is used for one reason – to inflict maximum injury and death.
“In my opinion, it is a disgrace, an absolute disgrace that four months after 58 people were murdered in Las Vegas that on the national level and the Illinois state level there is not a ban on bump stocks,” Harris said, receiving applause from the floor. “I believe it is a dereliction of our ability to protect the public.”
Harris commended Moylan for cleaning up the bill since he first introduced it, calling the prior version of the bill “seriously flawed.”
“This is a much better bill, and I don’t care what bill passes,” Harris said. “ I don’t care what you call the device, you can call it a four slice tooster, but if it causes a semi-automatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon it ought to be banned in Illinois and this is our chance to do it.”
Rep. David Olsen (R-Downers Grove) cited the right to bear arms, gun violence and recent mass shootings and said while “no one wants to see this violence continue,” lawmakers must not make “hasty and ill-considered decisions that trample on constitutional rights of Americans.”
“Today, I am supporting this legislation, and I am supporting several pieces of this legislation that will advance today,” Olsen said, adding not all the proposed gun bills up for debate were going to get his nod of approval.
Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) was also concerned with the bill language in regards to the increase of rapid fire and how the wording can be construed incorrectly in the context of sport shooting; however Moylan disagreed sarcastically.
“It cannot be construed so read it and read it good,” Moylan said, gaining a applause from the floor.
Skillicorn then Googled “belt fire belt loop” and asked Moylan if he was insinuating if possessing belt loops was a felony.
“While you are Googling, go to Oct. 1, 2017, it was the deadliest shooting in modern America history and there is a complete explanation to what a bump stock can do,” Moylan said.
Skillicorn said the legislation contends that anyone with a bump stock will be considered a felon.
“Ladies and gentlemen there are millions of these products in our state, and I cannot support a bill that makes millions of our constituents that we serve felons,” Skillicorn said, adding he wanted the roll checked when the bill was voted on.
Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) said though she is not happy with the bill language, calling it “too broad,” at first, she thanked Moylan for taking the time to create a clean bill; however she could not say the same of the other bills that would soon be presented by Moylan’s Democratic peers.
HB1467 was approve by the House 83-31 and sent to the Senate.