The coming of Illinois’ backdoor handgun ban?

It’s that time of year again. Spring is the season in which my posts tend to become very parochially Illinois-centric. That’s because the spring session is when the forces of citizen disarmament are most active in the Illinois Politburo . . . oops–I mean legislature. I’ve been hammering HB 48 (bans private handgun sales) pretty hard, because I’m convinced it’s the biggest threat.

Today, I want to look at another bill, and the potential nightmare nexus of it and HB 48. This time, the focus is on HB 180, the “Handgun Dealer Licensing Act” (there’s also the Senate version, SB 1848, but it’s the House that seems to be moving most aggressively on gun laws at the moment).

HB 48 is essentially identical to last year’s HB 796 (both were introduced by Rep. Deborah Graham), which I discussed here. The “highlights” from last year are the same, so I’ll take the lazy approach, and simply suggest you read (or at least skim) that analysis.

As you can imagine, this will dramatically reduce the number of legal handgun dealers in Illinois (remember, since the state police may issue the license, they can refuse to do so, for any reason–or no reason at all–so in theory, it gives the state the power to force every legal handgun dealer out of business). Remember also that HB 48 would require that every sale by a private owner be conducted on the premises of a licensed dealer–just as the state seems intent on eliminating those through HB 180, so you couldn’t even buy one on the (legal) secondary market (assuming you could raise enough cash for the inevitably inflated cost produced by this massive market distortion). Since federal law already prohibits buying a handgun out of state, we could have a de-facto handgun ban, in all but name.

Since two thirds of the sponsors/co-sponsors of HB 180 are also sponsoring HB 48, I seriously doubt this is an accident.

“But wait,” you might say, “if HB 48 and HB 180 both pass, and do what you say, and the state refuses to issue/renew any licenses, I won’t be able to get rid of an unwanted handgun, either–they can’t want that, can they?” Fear not–they’ve got you covered with HB 3791, which legalizes gun “buy-backs.”

“But wait,” you say again, “they have gun ‘buy-backs’ all the time–how have they done that?” That’s a good question.

Oh yeah–have I mentioned IGOLD ’09?

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