(The Center Square) – Legislators in Springfield have advanced multiple bills this week relating to guns in Illinois as several lawsuits continue challenging the state’s ban on certain semi-automatic guns.
The Illinois House passed House Bill 218 on Wednesday, which will allow firearms manufacturers to be sued for what policymakers deem deceptive practices.
State. Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, advanced the bill.
“The Firearm Industry Responsibility Act, House Bill 218, is designed to hold gun manufacturers accountable and ensure that families devastated by gun violence have a path to justice in Illinois civil courts,” Gong-Gershowitz said.
Another measure, House Bill 676, would do several things, including increasing the limits of where people can fire a gun from 300 yards to 1,000 yards from a residential area.
“My family owns three farms. I can tell you right now all of them will be impacted by this and I will no longer be able to hunt on my farm,” Ed Sullivan with the Illinois State Rifle Association said.
“That is a taking and that will probably declare this unconstitutional,” Sullivan said.
Proponents of the measure say unincorporated neighborhoods in the state report bullets being lodged in swing sets, garden sheds and fence posts.
HB676 would also require tracking of sales of pre-packaged explosive devices used by farmers and for target practice.
Another provision would require police to take possession of firearms in orders of protection, rather than allowing a transfer to someone else that has a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
“There are people that have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in their firearms,” Sullivan said.
“It might not mean a lot to other people but they don’t get to transfer those to their heirs? They don’t get to transfer that, even just the monetary amount, so that is the unintended consequences of what you’re trying to do does,” Sullivan said.
If approved, the omnibus bill would also create a task force to evaluate requiring firearm owners to carry liability insurance and end the sunset on the First Time Weapons Offense Program administered through Illinois courts.
After passing committee, HB676 is up for consideration in the House. Legislators adjourn the spring session on May 19.