By Michael Kleen
Since the Supreme Court overturned Chicago’s handgun ban in 2010, Illinois legislators have been looking for new ways to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and deprive citizens in this state of their right to bear arms. At the beginning of February, the Illinois House Rules Committee sent three bills to the House floor: HB1294, HB1599, and HB1855. These bills would revise the Criminal Code of 1961 and the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act in a way that compromises the U.S. Constitution and undermines public safety by turning peaceable citizens into criminals simply for possessing certain types of weapons.
HB1294 amends The Criminal Code of 1961 to prohibit the manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of semi-automatic assault weapons, assault weapon attachments, .50 caliber rifles, and .50 caliber cartridges, including fixed magazines that have the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Exceptions are made for sport shooting, police, active duty military, and prison employees.
HB1599 amends The Criminal Code of 1961 to prohibit the sale, manufacture, purchase, or possession of certain types of weapons, including bludgeons, black-jacks, slungshots, sand-clubs, sand-bags, “knuckle weapons” (regardless of their composition), throwing stars, and switchblades. It further prohibits the “possession with the intent to use” of various improvised weapons including razors, stilettos, and broken bottles or other pieces of glass, stun guns, “or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument of like character.” It also prohibits the transportation of firearms unless they are “broken down in a non-functioning state” or “unloaded and enclosed in a case.”
By Michael Kleen
For trampling on the liberty of its citizens, Illinois has won the unfortunate distinction of being among the worst states in the nation according to a new study by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center. “Freedom in the 50 States” ranked Illinois 41st in regards to the overall personal and financial freedom its citizens enjoy. The Center rated states in four areas: fiscal policy, regulatory policy, economic freedom, and personal freedom. Illinois ranked 26th in fiscal freedom, 27th in regulatory freedom, 29th in economic freedom, and 49th in personal freedom. For those of us concerned about individual liberty, this does not bode well.
The Mercatus study measured dozens of variables and looked at more than 150 distinct public policies, including social and personal freedoms such as the right to educate your children, to own and carry firearms, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizure. New Hampshire and South Dakota were found to have the highest amount of overall freedom for their citizens, while New York ranked dead last. That means, in the past several years, Illinois has moved away from the libertarian policies of states like New Hampshire and toward the big-government policies of states like New York, New Jersey, and California.