Just weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, several bills were introduced this week that aim to address growing concerns of gun safety while still preserving the rights of gun owners.
Senate Bill 2247 was filed in the Senate on Oct. 24, the first day of 2017 Fall Veto Session. Under the legislation, it would become illegal in the state of Illinois to sell, purchase or possess bump stocks—a device attachment for a semiautomatic firearm that allows it to fire more quickly, operating similarly to a fully automatic rifle.
Unlike other gun safety measures being reviewed by the General Assembly, Senate Bill 2247 is limited in scope and focuses on specifically prohibiting bump stocks. The measure would not prohibit lawful trigger modifications for common sporting rifles for legal gun owners—upholding Second Amendment rights. Notably, the bill would give current owners 120 days to sell or otherwise dispose of bump fire stocks, rather than turning them into overnight criminals; other versions of this legislation would institute an immediate ban.
Another more expansive bill (House Bill 4117) targeting bump stocks and other trigger modifications, failed in the House of Representatives, reflective of criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who said the measure was much too broad. Opponents said far-reaching legislation could make criminals out of legal gun owners, such as legal owners who modify their firearms to compete in shooting competitions. Estimates revealed the proposal would have made roughly 40 percent of the legally-owned guns illegal.
The sale and use of bump stocks have recently come under scrutiny after several were found at the scene of the recent national tragedy in Las Vegas, which resulted in more than 50 fatalities and hundreds injured.