ILLINOIS (IRN) — Gunsmiths in Illinois are concerned that a bill filed at the statehouse violates not just the Second Amendment, but also the First Amendment.
State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, filed House Bill 2253 to address what have been called untraceable firearms. Her bill would make possession of certain unfinished gun parts a crime unless the person has a Firearm Owners Identification card, or FOID.
Certain gun parts, such as a semi-automatic rifle receiver, where the ammunition is fired from, can be bought unfinished and sometimes without serial numbers. Finishing off certain parts without serial numbers would be a Class 2 felony under Willis’ measure.
Her bill also makes using a 3D printer to make a gun without a serial number illegal. The bill also prohibits disseminating digital blueprints for finishing off certain gun parts or printing guns unless specific provisions are followed.
Bill Oglesby of Oglesby & Oglesby Gunmakers in Springfield said the measure may conflict with the first two amendments of the Bill of Rights.
“We’re not talking about just guns here, we’re talking about a government power wanting to regulate communication and thought processes,” Oglesby said. “Nothing to do with crime whatsoever.”
DS Arms President David Selvaggio in Lake Barrington said: “this bill is another solution to non-existent problems.”
“Most of the data, processes and blueprints for almost every common small arm system can be found somewhere in the public domain,” Selvaggio said in an email. “These are also basic manufacturing principles and processes that can be found in books as well as a multitude of [computer assisted design] software programs. I don’t believe the Internet will be shut down anytime soon, so the data is out there.”
Willis’ measure, filed Thursday, would make the distribution of “downloadable firearm code” illegal “if he or she knowingly distributes a downloadable firearm code to another person or persons, or makes a downloadable firearm code available that it can be accessed or downloaded by one or more persons.” The measure would make it unlawful unless the distributor “requests a criminal history check on the distributee,” among other provisions.
“We cannot regulate crime away with more useless gun control schemes,” Selvaggio said. “Neither can we regulate someone’s knowledge in their brain. Letting law enforcement do their jobs along with aid from citizens and the firearms industry are the solutions that produce positive results.”
Oglesby said lawmakers need to go after real criminals that are breaking laws already on the books.
“But let a dealer make a mistake and boy they hammer him,” Oglesby said. “Where is it going to stop? It’s getting ridiculous.”
Willis couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Willis’ bill is the latest in a series of gun control measures supporters of the second amendment have raised concerns over. Lawmakers have also filed legislation in Illinois to require every round of ammunition be tracked by state police, that state police search social media accounts of people wanting to buy firearms and bans on certain types of guns and accessories the firearms industry says are common among law-abiding gun owners.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he’s open gun control measures, such as banning high-capacity magazines.