A strict new ban on popular semi-automatic firearms is being rushed through the General Assembly in the Land of Lincoln. 

Dubbed the "Protect Illinois Communities Act," state Rep. Bob Morgan's planned ban was crafted over the summer in conjunction with major anti-gun groups and introduced last week, is slated to be pushed through the Assembly's lame-duck session with the aim of making it law in 2023. 

Introduced as HB5855 on Dec. 1 with three co-sponsors, all Democrats, the text of the bill would ban many common firearm types by name (e.g., "AR15, AK47") regardless of manufacturer.

Going further, any semi-auto centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine and any of five cosmetic features-- folding or telescoping stock, thumbhole stock, forward pistol grip, flash suppressor, or grenade launcher-- would be classified as an "assault rifle." Also lumped into that category would be any rifle that is less than 30 inches long overall, for instance, bullpups like the Springfield Armory Hellion or IWI Tavor. 

It would also create the banned classification of "assault pistol" which would be reserved for any centerfire pistol that had a detachable magazine and a feature such as a threaded barrel or a magazine well outside of the pistol grip-- such as a Century Arms Draco. 

When it comes to "assault shotguns," the bill targets most semi-auto shotguns with similar cosmetic features used to prohibit rifles and adds any shotgun that uses a rotary or revolving magazine. 

Following the adoption of the law, those who possess a banned firearm would have 300 days to register it with the State Police, with a $25 fee for each gun. Firearms not registered would be illegal with the threat of fine and jail time. 

Outside of the ban and registration scheme, the bill also would raise the minimum age requirement to obtain a FOID card-- mandatory for legal gun ownership in the state-- to 21 with some narrow exceptions. It would also extend the current six-month term on firearm restraining orders to a one-year period. 


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Morgan told local media he plans to have public hearings this month and pass the bill in the lame-duck session in early January when the threshold for a bill becoming effective immediately after Gov. Pritzker's signature drops to just 60 votes in the body. Dems currently have 73 seats. 

State 2A groups are in solid opposition to the bill and are gearing up for a fight. 

"The Illinois State Rifle Association will not be entering into any negotiations on this piece of legislation. Elections have consequences," said the organization in a statement. "We will see the State of Illinois in court should this bill be enacted into law."

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