Gun legislation moves through House despite GOP opposition
The Illinois House of Representatives recently fervently debated Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto to reinstate the death penalty and impose a three-day waiting period on gun purchases.
SB 3256, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Buffalo Grove), stoked contention when Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) expressed his disagreement with the sponsor for questioning the death penalty requirement for killing law enforcement, especially after the death of fallen Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer.
The third time is the charm, according to Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee), who noted that present holders of the Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) already undergo “more intensive federal checks” than most states.
“Is there any logic to having someone who has repeated background checks every single night... wait another three days?” Skillicorn asked. “I had a background check last night, yet I have to wait another 72 hours and another three background checks.”
Carroll called the three-day wait "a cooling off period" that could prevent a gun owner from harming others or themselves.
“I think waiting a couple extra days for a gun is not the end of the world,” he added.
Wanting more time to argue the point, Skillicorn asked the House speaker for an extended debate before presenting a scenario in which a gun purchaser would be prevented from entering a shooting competition due to the 72-hour waiting period.
Noting that he is personally a FOID card holder and concealed-carry certified holder, Skillicorn said that repeated checks are made on him.
"It’s not like they are going to go do harm,” Skillicorn. "They already own a weapon."
Bringing up the same shooting concerns, Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) also mentioned her concerns for trap shooting. She noted the Grand American World Trap Shooting Championships at the Sparta Shooting Complex, and how she and Carroll discussed the bill's verbiage to carve out the concerns of its detractors.
“I reached out to some folks who don’t think that the language of the bill is adequate, and there are still a lot of questions about that; and for that reason, I will be voting no,” Bryant said.
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) said he looked through the analysis and was trying to comprehend the real purpose of the overall proposal. Carroll said his original bill was for assault rifles and the governor's was for a gun show, so he combined both bills.
“It’s your version plus one more measure,” Wheeler said.
“No, it’s the same bill," Carroll said. "It’s just taking the two of them and combining them together.”
Wheeler said he wished lawmakers would just stick with what they had discussed. Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) questioned the sponsor on gun shows.
“Can I assume that those purchases are legal?” McCombie asked. “Because if people are illegally purchasing guns at gun shows, then they should be reported by those who are attending."
But Carroll couldn't answer her question.
After she said she believes that the bill is just another attempt to go against the Second Amendment, SB 3256 passed 72-44 and moved to the governor's desk for consideration.