(The Center Square) – The third and final hearing of Illinois’ proposed gun and magazine ban for the year was held earlier this week and lawmakers could take action on the bill as early as next month.
Tuesday’s hearing featured groups advocating for the proposed ban on certain semi-automatic guns and magazines over 10 rounds.
Various members of the law enforcement community also advocated for the bill’s passage.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and officials from the city of Chicago testified in favor of the proposed ban.
Dart even brought examples of what House Bill 5855 defines as “large ammunition feeding devices.”
Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly also testified.
He said there would need to be some additional resources to set up the gun registry state police would manage and more sworn officers to enforce the law but did not provide an exact cost.
“My feeling is as the Illinois State Police, you give us enough resources, we can put a man on the moon, if that’s what the General Assembly wants us to do,” Kelly said.
Opposing the measure, saying they’re not willing to negotiate on a gun ban, Illinois State Rifle Association’s Ed Sullivan said the number of guns and magazines that would be outlawed overnight is staggering and will disproportionately impact minority communities.
“I can take my firearms, my mags, I can go across the border. I have the means. What about the people who don’t,” Sullivan said. “You just going to criminalize them?”
Others questioned how the measure would be enforced statewide, especially with more than 70 counties in Illinois being what gun-rights advocate Todd Vandremyde said are “Second Amendment sanctuary counties.”
“You will have civil disobedience to where people aren’t going to register things, not going to surrender things, so I ask you what is the enforcement mechanism,” Vandremyde asked. “Are you going to send state police house to house?”
Tuesday’s hearing found nearly three times the amount of opposition filing witness slips than those who support the measure.
Before ending a nearly five-hour House hearing, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, said more hearings are expected.
“Obviously this plane has not landed. With that said, this is our last hearing this year, this calendar year,” Slaughter said.
State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, who sponsors the bill, said he hopes to get it approved before Jan. 10.
Lawmakers return on January 4 for lame duck session.