Two more state legislatures, the Illinois House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, will be weighing new proposed firearm control measures, proving that the uptick in knee-jerk, rushed legislation following the Parkland tragedy continues.
The Illinois bill has passed the state House of Representatives. The bill makes it illegal for persons under the age of 21 to possess or purchase high-capacity weapons (more than 10 rounds), .50-caliber rifles and .50-caliber cartridges. The bill gives those under the age of 21 already in possession of the newly prohibited items 300 days to transfer ownership to someone 21 or over. Earlier this week, the Illinois House of Representatives also approved legislation banning bump stocks, which would require those already in possession of bump stocks to turn in the devices to local authorities or dispose of them out of state. Not only do both of these bills impose stricter firearm controls, but they also, remarkably, do not have a “Grandfather” exception which would allow current owners to keep these items, notwithstanding the fact that they were lawfully purchased. The bill will now be taken up by the Illinois Senate.
The Ohio Senate is reviewing a bill introduced by two Democratic Senators, Mike Skindell, D-Lakewood and Charleta Tavares, D-Columbus, aimed at implementing strict firearms controls and measures. The two main provisions of the bill are both noteworthy: (i) the bill establishes a statewide database to track all transfers of firearms and ammunition, which the legislators designed, as stated by Senator Tavares, to “close the gun show loophole”; and (ii) the bill bans “the possession of semi-automatic firearms that are built with or accept magazines with a capacity of 10 rounds or more.” It has been reported in the media that when Senator Tavares was informed that the bill would ban many commercially available pistols, Senator Tavares was quick to backpedal and confirm that the bill was not intended to ban pistols.
Renzulli Law Firm will continue to track these bills closely. We do, however, want to emphasize that – as Senator Tavares’ confusion exemplifies – legislation should not be rushed or hastily written. The risk, not only of abridging Constitutional rights, but also of becoming saddled with the unintended consequences of rushed legislation, is far too great.