(NaturalNews) UPDATE:Reports circulated Thursday morning that a pair of bills have been advanced by state Senate Democrats that would severely restrict semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. From Fox News:
A Senate committee approved two bills, one dealing with the weapons and the other with magazines. Democratic supporters could face a tough sell in the full Senate. One measure would ban the possession, delivery, sale and transfer of semiautomatic handguns and rifles. People who currently own such weapons could keep them but would have to register them. The bill would allow semiautomatic weapons to be used at shooting ranges, but those facilities would be regulated.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde told lawmakers the bill would restrict about 75 percent of handguns and 50 percent of long guns in circulation today. He also told them the bills would instantly turn millions of law-abiding gun owners in the state into criminals, and that the measures are also in conflict with recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
(NaturalNews) Are lawmakers and the governor's office conspiring to introduce and pass brand-new legislation that would necessarily criminalize all firearms in the state by the end of this week?
Perhaps, according to a blog post at TheTruthAboutGuns.com website, though no one knows for sure at this point.
In a press release, the Illinois State Rifle Association, a pro-Second Amendment advocacy group, said it has "learned from a credible source that Illinois Senate President John Cullerton will introduce a so called 'assault weapons' ban on Wednesday when the legislature returns for its 'lame duck' session."
The press release went onto say:
Cullerton hopes to ramrod the bill through and get it to Governor Quinn for signature by Friday. If he is successful at doing so, nearly every gun you currently own will be banned and will be subject to confiscation by the Illinois State Police. Based on what we know about Cullerton's bill, firearms that would be banned include all semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Pump action shotguns would be banned as well. This would be a very comprehensive ban that would include not only so-called "assault weapons" but also such classics as M1 Garands and 1911-based pistols. There would be no exemptions and no grandfathering. You would have a very short window to turn in your guns to the State Police to avoid prosecution.
Uncertainty surrounding the issue
A spokeswoman at ISRA who asked not to be identified told Natural News that the organization was still in the process of verifying the report, but that, as of Wednesday evening, officials had not yet confirmed it.
A message was left at Cullerton's Senate office in Springfield, but no calls were returned by press time.
An investigation into the report by Natural News sheds further light on the story. According to this press release posted on the website of the Illinois General Assembly, Cullerton introduced Senate Bill (SB) 681 in February 2011, a measure that amended the state's Firearm Owners Identification Card Act to permit "an Illinois resident to purchase ammunition from a person within or outside of Illinois if shipment is by United States mail or by a private express carrier authorized by federal law to ship ammunition," according to a legislative summary.
The bill required "that a resident purchasing ammunition within or outside the State of Illinois must provide the seller with a copy of his or her valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and either his or her Illinois driver's license or Illinois State Identification Card prior to the shipment of the ammunition."
The measure passed both houses of the General Assembly May 9, 2012, and was sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on June 9 for his signature, which he did not give.
Ill. Governor recommended banning assault weapons
Instead, the governor issued what is known as an amendatory veto, effectively rejecting the measure but informing lawmakers he would sign it if it contained additional provisions he recommended.
In issuing his amendatory veto July 31, the governor would agree to sign the measure only if it contained a complete assault weapons ban, among other provisions. Here is a summary of his amendatory veto:
Proposes replacing the current provisions of the bill with amendments to the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge. Provides that beginning 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
"I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution- the right to bear arms," he said. "However, the proliferation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines undermines public safety and the right of personal security of every citizen."
"Banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines will make Illinois a safer place to live," Quinn wrote.
According to the Illinois General Assembly's legislative calendar on SB 681, only the provisions that Cullerton introduced eventually passed and became law Dec. 6 because both chambers went onto override Quinn's veto within the past month.
Nevertheless, Natural News will continue to track this story.