Alton, IL

Gun Waiting Period Bill on Governor's Desk

Story by WBGZ Radio

The deadline for Gov. Bruce Rauner to act on a measure to change the waiting period to buy some firearms from 24 hours to 72 hours in Illinois is Tuesday.


When House Bill 1468 passed the House in February, chief sponsor state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, said he was shocked that Illinois has a 72-hour waiting period for handguns “but not for long guns like rifles, shotguns and assault weapons like the AR-15.”


“In the case of these weapons, there’s only a 24-hour waiting period,” Carroll said.


The proposed legislation, which defines certain rifles as assault weapons, requires a 72-hour waiting period to buy the so-called assault weapons instead of 24 hours.


“This bill would also apply the same restrictions to gun shows and out-of-state guests,” Carroll said.


The measure defines “assault weapon” as any rifle, shotgun or handgun with belt-fed ammunition or detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, a fixed magazine with more than 10 rounds (more than five rounds for shotguns, with exceptions), and has a folding or telescoping stock or a shroud around the barrel. It does not include manually operated bolt, pump, lever or slide action firearms.


Vandermyde said it’s a trick bag that could lead to a felony charge against a retailer because it defines certain rifles one way and excludes others.


“Because if you sell a competition 8-shot shotgun over here, it’s a 24-hour waiting period. If you sell another 8-shot competition shotgun over here it’s a 72-hour waiting period,” Vandermyde said. “This rifle over here is 72 hours. This rifles over here is 24.”


“It doesn’t make any real rhyme, reason or sense in what they’re trying to do,” Vandermyde said. “It just seems to be another knee jerk reaction in light of the tragedy in Florida.”


On Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, 17 students and teachers were shot and killed by an assailant using an AR-15-style rifle. Legislation popped up in state legislatures across the country to address various aspects of school safety and gun control. In Illinois, lawmakers have mainly focused on regulating guns, rather than enhancing security at schools.


Vandermyde said the Illinois’ HB1468 is an answer to a problem that doesn’t exist: Criminals don't abide by waiting periods.


The bill was sent to Rauner March 15, triggering a 60-day window for the governor to either sign or veto the measure.


Vandermyde said at the very least Rauner should change the bill with an amendatory veto.


The measure passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities.


The governor’s office couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday.


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