Illinois Bans So-Called ‘Assault Weapons’

Update 1/10/23:


A ban on so-called “assault weapons” passed in the Illinois House last week and is now on its way to the Senate.

The bill known as the “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” bans the purchase of “assault-style weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” that hold more than 12 rounds. Those 12-plus round magazines will have 90 days to permanently modify or dispose of them. Those who already own modern sporting rifles will be grandfathered in, but cannot possess any more in the future.

“If this bill were to become law, I want to be clear about something, because we’re going to probably hear a lot about that in debate later,” Emanuel Welch, Speaker of the Illinois House, said Thursday during the bill’s introduction. “If this bill were to become law, there will be no removal of these weapons from people who already own them. It’s important to highlight that we are not taking any guns away from lawful gun owners.”

In addition to its main restrictions, the bill also creates criminal penalties for accessories that turn a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic one. It also tasks the Illinois State Police with establishing a statewide strike team in collaboration with the DOJ and the ATF.

“We know that this topic is contentious,” Speaker Welch said. “We also may not all agree on the solutions being presented. But what we do know is that gun violence is impacting communities in every single corner of this state.”

SEE ALSO: Illinois Governor Implements Emergency ‘Clear and Present Danger’ Rule to Restrict Gun Ownership and Confiscate Firearms

The bill, also known as HB5855, passed with a vote of 64 to 43. It even garnered support from Republican representatives like Jim Durkin.

“They have no sporting use,” Rep. Durkin said, during the vote. “They have no target use. Their only purpose is killing people. And I don’t see a justification for that.”

While some Republicans did support HB5855, there were also many who opposed it leading to some heated debate. Republican Rep. Dan Caulkins declared the bill to be unconstitutional and worried that it would punish law-abiding gun owners.

“This is the people that are going to be forced to give up their magazines and register their guns are legal, lawful owners who have gone through the process of obtaining a FOID card and/or concealed carry license,” Rep. Caulkins said, per ABC7. News “They’re not criminals.”

Rep. Caulkins made it clear that House Republicans will challenge the bill in court if it passes the Senate. He has the support of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

“The anti-gun people have seized upon this opportunity,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “In the long run they would like to get rid of the Second Amendment altogether.”

In a statement released on Twitter, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

“I look forward to working with our colleagues in the Illinois Senate to get bills addressing these issues to my desk so I can sign them as soon as possible,” the statement read in part.

After passing in the Illinois House, the bill now heads toward the Senate. With supermajorities in both the House and Senate, Illinois Democrats expect HB5855 to pass. Legislators in the Senate plan to vote for the bill at the 103rd General Assembly this week.

Stay tuned for updates!

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About the author: Dante Graves Dante is a movie and comic book junkie who loves a good explosion. His passion for politics and journalism led him here. Dante’s only aim is to be truthful and factual with his reporting.

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  • Spike Jorgen February 17, 2023, 4:16 am

    America is paying deeply for out misplaced descripion of Assualt Weapons like Illinois has done. Our military is no longer made up of citizen warriors but a combination of well intentioned citizen warriors and huge numbers of
    mercenary troops that join for the money and no jobs anywhere else. While a majority of us do not serve our nation in any way and are happy to pay the mercenaries and then make public heroos of them when they avoid
    any real service when they can. Every American (male and female) should spend 2 years or more in public service of the military, peace corps, AFSC, teachers in needy areas and etc. All of which should teach every citizen how to use truly assault weapons not the misstaken descriptions used now. When Every Amercian serves our nation in some capacity for two years we would not need the mercenaries we have now and the false sense of we promote in making heroes of those who are simply making a living by carrying a true assault weapon on foreign undeclared wars where we do not always shine. So we put our valuable citizenship on sale to foreign nationals for their mercenary service. The rest of the world laughs at us as we watch the super bowl.
    Many of the comments below describe this better than I.

  • Kane January 13, 2023, 1:10 pm

    BTW, the next target of obese JB Pritzker is too ban any fossil fuel. Not sue what Pritzker will do when a overweight slob like him is forced to eat soylent green.

    • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment January 14, 2023, 11:53 am

      “were not coming after your gas stoves”……..yeah I heard that somewhere before…

  • Max Powers January 13, 2023, 10:29 am

    I know I’m mostly preaching to the choir, with a few out of tune voices, but, maybe the proverbial choir will echo THIS song a bit louder.

    The Founding Fathers, coming out from under tyrannical rule of a burdensome and tax happy King, wanted to establish what was decided as a Constitutional Republic, with a very limited role of this new Federal Government.

    This new Constitution of governance almost didn’t pass the votes of the State. Mainly because some hard stops were missing. But, it did pass. However, those same Founding Fathers met and added amendments to it to strengthen the document.

    The first 10 of these Amendments are not ranked by their corresponding number. It’s just the order they’re in, nothing more. The importance of the original 10 is how each of them needs the other to succeed. That’s why you’ll typically see litigation that says, “violation of 4th, 6th and 10th Amendments” in constitutional settings. They are an unbreakable set, not a compilation of individual pieces.

    With that said, we bang on #1 and #2, #4, #5, #6 & #10, but, we don’t bang on #3, #7, #8 & #9 as much.

    But, #3 is critical. Maybe most critical to #2.

    #2 consists of 27 words, some of them are militaristic, such as militia, security, free State and the right to keep and bear are highly critical. And even though the 27 words have about 1000 different interpretations, the interpretations can be greatly limited when you flow right from #2 to #3 in discussion.

    At the time of the writing of the amendments, the “weapons of war” by any government that existed, foreign OR domestic, consisted of single shot pistols, rifles and cannon.

    Therefore, the Founding Fathers offered the citizen the opportunity to engage on level playing ground while in compliance with #3, should it be necessary.

    Now, a BUNCH of folks say there’s no more need for #3, it’s obsolete. But, I’d remind them that the need for it was quite clear during the Revolutionary War, when British troops enjoyed the fruits and families of the future citizen without fear of repercussion.

    And with #3 firmly in place, it happened, with horrible regularity, yet again, during the Civil War, some 70 years later. But, the citizen was empowered then, and really should be empowered now.

    The spirit of #2 was written to complement #3, but, also to allow the citizen to rise quickly into a standing army, without having the obligation of supporting it, financially. Remember that original spirit. Smaller, more limited government, in PARTNERSHIP with it’s citizenry to do certain things when necessary, and to have the very tools available to do so.

    It was also written to be a reminder to the very government itself that should it choose a route of tyranny, it’s very governed would have ample ability to force a change, by redress of grievance, or, as a last resort, aggressive action.

    Of course, a tyrannical government would want to protect itself from such things, so a security force of some type would be assembled and called upon to protect. Again, #2 is to remind those recruits that the aggrieved are equipped with everything they have, as a constitutional right, in deterrence of a fight.

    Fast forward to today’s modern warfare. There’s a whole bunch of nasty weapons of war out there, up to and including some thermo-nuclear world wreckers.

    Yet, the governing bodies are trying to return the citizenry to the blunderbuss as the “allowable” weapon platform for their use.

    Now, how would a citizenry, heavily equipped with the single-shot flintlock ever take on the amassed security force of a tyrannical government? Or exercise their constitutional right in an uncomfy situation that’s about to violate #3?

    From this perspective, why would gun control even be a topic of discussion?

  • Freds Guns January 13, 2023, 9:17 am

    We need to pass a federal law making it a felony to enact an unconstitutional law.

  • Billy M January 13, 2023, 8:36 am

    This is a waste of time and money on the part of the Illinois government. This will die in the supreme court.

    • Kane January 13, 2023, 12:39 pm

      I hope you are correct but Deerfield IL recently passed a similiar ban that was struck down by a lower court but upheld by an appealate court and later the ILSC.

      The Demsheviks consider any election a mandate for tryanny. Where was the USSC with Deerfield? Meanwhile, forced registration under threat of 3rd class felony is on the books. The same people that vow to disarm citizens are demanding your serial #’s for the ISP. Millions law abiding citizens are now potential felons while the obese billionare baby killing JB Pritzker lets convicted criminals roam free. Count on nothing but a power grab.

  • Mitbar January 13, 2023, 8:26 am

    So many have already moved IL is losing congressional seats. Glad I left years ago, It’s not only restrictive gun laws it’s the high taxes on everything. Border cities in that screwed up state suffer because everybody crosses that money saving border for gas, groceries, tobacco and everything else.

  • Democratlosers January 13, 2023, 7:14 am

    ” The Tree of Liberty must be Refreshed from Time to Time with the BLOOD of Patriots and TYRANTS ” .. Thomas Jefferson !! “FJB ” !!.

  • Captain Kublai January 13, 2023, 6:25 am

    Durkin says that firearms “have no sporting use, no target use, their only use is to kill people.” You are correct, suburban snot, the primary use of firearms in the hands of the courageous citizens who are supposed to run this great constitutional republic, are to be used against tyrants who would subvert our imperative natural rights, in order to enslave us. Ask Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, how well disarmament worked out in their utopias. You’re whining for a minuscule number of casualties in a bloated population of 3 hundred million souls. Most casualties caused by criminals on their own cohorts. You, budding tyrants, are using tears for the undeserving to serve your own goals of social control and unquestioning obedience, threatening your uniformed thugs to enforce your twisted scheme. That physical thing, called a gun, is the only impediment to such schemes. We’ll see how it plays out in the courts, or else.

  • rob January 10, 2023, 5:51 pm

    I live in this god forsaken state and I will not comply or register anything. I need to move to a 2A friendly state!!

    • Larry J January 13, 2023, 9:29 am

      Come to Florida. We have great weather and the best Governor in the country.

      • SFC Hale (retired) January 13, 2023, 1:00 pm

        If he wants a 2A friendly state then he needs to move to Oklahoma.
        In Oklahoma we do not need a concealed carry permit. You can carry your weapon and be supported.

    • Fal Phil January 13, 2023, 3:09 pm

      If you move to a 2A friendly state, please also leave behind your climate change, diversity inclusion equity, government regulation, and open border in Illinois too. It is a package deal if you want to keep your guns.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment January 9, 2023, 3:43 pm

    grandfathered my ass, once the law passes it will be just a pen stroke to ban them all. Don’t overlook the language that it is for assault weapons not just assault rifles!

    • Billy M January 13, 2023, 8:34 am

      Paul, This bans semi-auto sporting rifles commonly referred to as ‘assault weapons’. ‘Assault rifles’ are military weapons with select fire capabilities. ‘Assault rifles and already controlled under the National Firearms Act. To own theses weapons you need the permission of the government. That and you will shell out in excess of $15K for one if you can find someone who already has one and wants to sell it. But you are right in that this is just the first step to confiscation.

      • Kane January 13, 2023, 12:55 pm

        Wrong, I read the ever expanding list of firearms every AR and AK type is included. I believe at least one .22 was included so far, all 10 rdn plus magazines are banned for “rifles.” This is extremely bad and past safety valves are gone, check your overly optimistic data.

        • Billy M January 13, 2023, 2:17 pm

          Kane, I was replying to Paul’s use of ‘assault weapon’ and ‘assault rifle’. You are correct. I read that list also. Includes semi-auto shotguns, BAR’s, M1A, and number of other firearms commonly owned. Paul’s wording indicates to me he doesn’t know the difference between an ‘AW’ and an ‘AR’. The ‘AR’ is not being banned as it is already regulated. Just want to do my part to educate people so they understand what they are talking about.

          • Kane January 14, 2023, 11:49 am

            OK, but Paul is saying that even if IL citizens try to obey the current laws by registration ultimately those “grandfathered” will be banned and the ISP will have the lists to knock on the doors. We all seem to agree on that much.

            In 1983 Chicago and several near suburbs like Oak Park, Morton Grove et cetera banned all handguns after a court room shooting down town. The same type of anti 2A lefties that are targeting sporting rifles right now went after all hand guns about 40 years ago. Chicago “grandfathered” whatever was registered at the time. The registration had to be renewed every year and if the gun owner let it lapse by one day the CPD gun teams where at the door. There is no good faith with registration.

            As for the other issue, I do NOT know what if any consistant legal specification exists in the US law books for the “assault weapon” or “assault rifle.” I remember back in the 1990’s a ban by WJC Admin targetted “assault style” firearms that had three or more cartain features. The list of features included semi-auto fire, a magazine well, a bayonet lug, a pistol grip, a flash suppressor and maybe a few other features like a collapsable stock.

            Anything else is Type II or NFA firearms to me, which is also based on bad case law. Bottom line, every state with a Dem governor or blue majority is now poised for restration and ultimate confiscation.

          • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment January 14, 2023, 11:59 am

            you got it going on there billy boy…..not! assault weapons also include handguns like glocks and such in their feeble minds!!!

          • Billy M January 14, 2023, 5:29 pm

            Paul, it’s understood they are coming for all of it. Not sure where you get ‘assault weapons include handguns like glock’ from. Part of our fight is to push back against ignorant people who throw around the word ‘assault weapon’ and think of military weapons. Let me understand you original post. You stated “Don’t overlook the language that it is for assault weapons not just assault rifles!” So you consider what they want to ban, according to the article, to be ‘assault rifles’? That would include AR’s, AK’s, and other semi-automatic weapons. Is this correct? With your last post you think ‘assault weapons’ are glocks and all semi-automatic 9mm handguns. Is this correct?Just trying to understand your nomenclature for and it’s application. But yes, their ultimate goal is to disarm all law-abiding citizens.

          • Kane January 16, 2023, 11:13 am

            I’ll just say this, I do NOT know what an “assault weapon” really is but somehow I do know that Glock 17 is included in some proposed “assault weapon” bans.

            Part of the problem is that clueless 2A antis like lefty politicians are distorting complicated conversations. The pro 2A USA has to be avoid the inaccurate and ever changing terminology of the left.

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