While most of the attention on Illinois gun laws has understandably focused on the new concealed carry law that we're told will some day go into effect, Illinois' forcible citizen disarmament zealots have not been shut out. On Sunday, Governor Pat Quinn signed Illinois House Bill 1189, a law that will, among other things, impose requirements--on pain of criminal charges--on victims of crime. If your gun is stolen, and you fail to promptly notify the police, you are now the criminal.
Oh, by the way--confused by the initial description on the Illinois General Assembly website--that the bill "amends the Sex Offender Registration Act"? That's what the bill would have done, before being amended to reflect Chicago-area Democrats' view that gun owning crime victims pose a greater danger to the public than sex offenders do.
Also of interest is this bizarre statement, by CBS, about the bill's signing:
For the first time in Illinois history there are new rules in place for gun buyers and owners.
Outside the suburbs in the city, we have control, but what the hell, in the suburbs, there are — you go out to all around our suburbs and you've got people out there, especially the non-white, are buying guns right and left. Shotguns and rifles and pistols and everything else. There's no registration. … There's no, and you know, they've had trouble with this national gun law, but after the president's assassination, someone ought to do something.
Actually, HB 1189 has another curious provision. It requires anyone selling a gun to call the Illinois State Police (an internet check system will supposedly be implemented some day) to check that the prospective buyer's FOID (Firearm Owner Identification card, required for purchase or possession of guns or ammunition in Illinois) is valid--but failure to do so carries no penalty (which isn't enough to stop the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence from triumphantly proclaiming "universal background checks").
Actually, one could argue that the "lost or stolen" reporting requirement is similarly toothless, because the theft victim has 72 hours from discovery of the theft to report it. The thing is, the burden of proof that the gun owner knew of the theft for more than 72 hours is on the prosecution, and Illinois has no law requiring gun owners to check on their guns every three days. How, exactly, will the prosecution prove that the gun owner knew of the theft for longer than that?
Still, given a zealous prosecutor and judge--both common elements in the Illinois "justice" system--that might be a thinner reed than it initially looks. The other danger is the possibility that the legislature's many forcible citizen disarmament jihadists will point out that these largely toothless regulations accomplish nothing, and then dishonestly spin that into justification for "strengthening" the law into a far more substantial attack on gun owners.
Oh--there is one more provision of the new law. An "Only One" who, by virtue of mental health problems would otherwise be denied a FOID card, or have a currently held card revoked, will now have a mechanism not available to the unwashed masses, for restoration of his/her FOID.
So, in summary, a bill that would have required that sex offender registration fees be used for programs intended to combat sex crimes, has instead morphed into a law that A) makes potential criminals of theft victims; B) sort of "requires" someone selling a gun to check with the state police on the validity of the prospective buyer's FOID card, but imposes no penalties for not doing so--making the "law" more akin to a suggestion; and C) makes it easier for cops with a mental illness history to have their gun rights restored than is the case for the rest of us.
The Chicago Tribune tells us that according to Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau, this "makes perfect sense." Alrighty, then.