Nybo suggests grandfather provision in gun legislation
Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) proposed adding a grandfather provision in possible gun legislation at a recent Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on firearms.
HB1469 would prohibit the sale, purchase, possession or transfer of high-capacity magazines; and create a penalty for an unauthorized individual possessing body armor or using it in a crime. The bill, also known as the Commander Bauer Act and sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), was one of five measures brought before the committee on March 8.
Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke in support of the measure during the hearing. He started by reading a statement on behalf of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“As someone who has spent his entire career working toward common-sense gun control, and as the mayor of a city with too many illegal guns on the street, I am grateful that the Illinois General Assembly is taking up these smart and tough gun control measures,” Johnson read.
Nybo was concerned about some gun owners not being aware of the new law if passed and the consequences that could cause them to unknowingly commit a criminal act by still possessing them.
“Should there be some type of grandfather or grandmother type of provisions, whatever term you want to use, so we don’t have a flow of weapons and equipment that are moving out of the hands of lawful owners who no longer want to possess something that is illegal,” Nybo said.
Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association spokesman, said lawmakers will see problems, because there is a large segment of society and gun owners who are not going to register or surrender their weapons.
“They will hide it; they will do something else with it,” Vandermyde said.
Though Vandermyde said it would be an issue, relinquishment is seemingly secondary to the danger of the equipment, according to Johnson, who noted the tragic death of CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer, who was killed in front of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago by an alleged four-time felon.
“It began when Chicago police officers began to question the individual who was acting suspiciously,” Johnson said, adding the gunman was carrying a gun with an extended clip magazine and wearing body armor, which was not known to the police in pursuit.
Johnson said Bauer was not even on duty when he came face-to-face with the alleged gunman, Shomari Legghette, who had several prior arrests for the unlawful use of weapons, body armor and armed robbery.
“Mr. Legghette was caught, he resisted and ultimately fired seven rounds, striking Cmdr. Bauer six times,” Johnson said. “Cmdr. Bauer never had the opportunity to draw his weapon or defend himself.”
Near the end of the hearing, Nybo asked Vandermyde for suggestions regarding gun legislation.
“Mr. Vandermyde, for those of us who are concerned about turning law-abiding citizens into law-violating citizens because of the enactment of these proposals, what are better alternatives than an outright ban of possession,” Nybo asked.
Vandermyde said enhanced criminal charges and sentencing is the better alternative.