Republican Lawmakers: Gun Reform Needs to Target the Problem, Not Law Abiding Gun Owners

In a week at the State Capitol dominated by debate on gun reform initiatives, several Republican Lawmakers are pushing for a fair hearing on bills they stress would help keep our communities safe while also protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.    “We need to pass legislation that focuses on solving the problem, not punishing tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners in Illinois; and if Democrats will work with us on common-sense gun safety reforms we can do that,” said Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville).  

Representative Wehrli was joined today at a Capitol press conference by Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and other members of the House Republican Caucus to highlight gun safety reforms they will work to enact, including:

HB 4120This legislation makes it illegal in the State of Illinois to sell, manufacture, or possess bump-fire stocks, which is a device attachment for a semiautomatic rifle that allows it to fire faster, operating similarly to a fully automatic rifle.

HB 4218 & HB 4855 – The Illinois FOID Card Act requires hospitals to report mental health admissions to DHS, who in turn provide the information to the State Police. Current information from DHS suggestion some hospitals are failing to report admissions, and there is currently little recourse in the law to compel compliance with the reporting requirement. These pieces of legislation update the reporting requirement to ensure compliance and prevent firearm access for those considered a danger to themselves or others.

HB 4904 – This legislation updates the rules for sales at licensed gun shops and provides for video surveillance and a notification system to assist law enforcement in the case of a break-in.

HB 5475 – This legislation increases the penalties for unlawful possession of a machine gun.

“The recent shooting in Florida is another clear example that we cannot keep delaying action to address the link between mental health and gun violence,” said Rep. Wheeler. “One life lost because of a failure to report a mental health problem or because a firearm was unnecessarily modified is one too many; we need to close the gaps in our system immediately.” “The tragedies we are seeing all too often cannot be solved with just increased firearm regulation.  The conversation on how we keep people safe must include better mental health screening, stiffer sentencing for crimes committed with guns and how we can improve security measures in public areas such as schools,” Rep. Wehrli said.