Illinois lawmakers approve trio of gun control bills

The Illinois state House on Wednesday passed a 72-hour waiting period for all guns sales while the Senate sent an extreme risk protection order measure and gun dealer licensing act to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The waiting period expansion, SB 3256, now returns to the Senate after a 72-44 vote House approval while HB 2354, which would establish a so-called “red flag law” to seize guns from those considered at risk, cleared the Senate 43-11 on its final hurdle to the Governor’s desk. However, it is the gun dealer certification program, SB 337, which drew proved the biggest lift for lawmakers — passing the Senate 35-20 — and could be headed to a repeat veto from Rauner.

“This bill took into consideration the governor’s concerns about red tape,” said sponsor of the measure, state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park. “Seeing the bipartisan support it received in both the House and the Senate, I look forward to the governor honoring his commitment to public safety and signing it into law.”

Harmon’s proposal, a reboot of a more onerous licensing scheme rejected by Rauner in March, was rushed through the House earlier this week where it picked up a firearm registration rider that drew comparisons by Republican lawmakers to gun confiscations under fictional Soviet occupation. The Governor, headed to the polls in five months for an attempt at a second term, has signaled his displeasure over the latest attempt by Assembly Democrats to install what he termed a “duplicative” list of state regulation on already-federally licensed gun dealers, but has not come out and directly promised a veto on Harmon’s resurrected bill.

Speaking of resurrection, Rauner earlier this month returned a proposed 72-hour waiting period expansion for “assault weapons” to lawmakers with a host of amendments that included making the Land of Lincoln a death penalty state once again. In the amendatory veto, he argued that the waiting period should be across the board rather than selective for particular types of firearms. This could mean he would be open to signing SB 3256, should the Senate sign off on it. In his veto, Rauner also advocated for an extreme risk protection order process similar to the one headed to his desk in HB 2354.

David Risley, Rauner’s director of criminal justice and public safety policy, told the Associated Press last week that, “Each component of his own amendatory veto, he would sign if it reaches his desk.”

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