Senator Biss

Across the country, we have seen the children of the United States do what many of us in the halls of power have thus far been unable to: Demand change to our inadequate gun laws.

On March 14, our next generation walked out of classrooms across the country for 17 minutes to show solidarity with those killed in Parkland, Florida a month ago. In Springfield, we in the Senate joined them. I was among a bipartisan group of senators who walked out that day to honor those students. The event included three minutes of silence: one to honor Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer, slain in the line of duty at the hands of a gunman, and another two minutes to honor all those who have lost their lives to gun violence in Illinois.

Three minutes was too brief a time to give to the hundreds who have lost their lives in just the past year, but we had work to do. Immediately following this show of solidarity, we responded to calls for commonsense gun control by passing three more gun control measures.

House Bill 1465 disallows the sale of assault weapons to those under age 21. I want to be clear that I am against any civilian carrying weapons of war like the AR-15, which, since the 2004 expiration of the federal assault weapons ban, has been in the headlines time and again as the instrument used to slaughter innocents. I hope this measure is a first step toward the day we see these sorts of weapons in the movies rather than on the news.

House Bill 1467 makes it illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess bump-stocks and trigger cranks. Such implements essentially convert semi-automatic weapons (which fire once per trigger pull) into automatic weapons (which fire continuously).

A violation of this ban would be a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of 3-7 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. In addition, the bill allows municipalities, including home rule units to regulate assault weapons as long as the regulation is not less restrictive than state law. This bill passed with veto-proof majority.

House Bill 1468 would increase the waiting period to receive an assault weapon after purchase from 24 hours to 72 hours. The proposal would include firearms purchased at gun shows. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence found that if all states implemented waiting periods, an additional 910 gun homicides could be prevented each year. This bill also passed with a veto-proof majority.

After approval by the Illinois House for the latter two measures, all three measures must be signed by the governor to become law. He has already shown an unwillingness to listen to voters by vetoing legislation that would create a framework for licensing gun dealers in Illinois. Bloomberg recently reported that almost 90 percent of those who do not own firearms want tighter gun control, that gun owners who are not NRA members are nearly 80 percent likely to favor it and that even NRA members are nearly 70 percent likely to favor it.

If you are one of those people, I’m urging you now to make it known to Gov. Rauner that he should join us in acting on gun control.

As our own children bravely reminded us this week, it has been past time to do so for far too long.



Senator Daniel Biss
9th District – Illinois

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District office:
3706 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 568-1250
(847) 568-1256 FAX

Springfield office:
417B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119