Illinois House defeats bill to ban trigger modification devices

Last week, House Democrats attempted to use the recent Las Vegas tragedy to make criminals out of many law-abiding gun owners.

House Bill 4117 would have prohibited the knowing sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a trigger modification device. The bill was described by its sponsors as a way to ban what are called “bump stocks.” However, the measure went well beyond bump stocks. House members concerned about HB 4117 described a wide variety of additional firearm fittings and modifications that affect the trigger of a firearm and would be subject to a ban under the proposed measure. It was also stated that language in the bill that purported to carve out an exception for members of law enforcement was badly written and inadequate for the purpose of protecting the police. After an Illinois House debate on Thursday, October 26, HB 4117 was defeated by a vote of 48-54-0.

Republican State Rep. Barbara Wheeler is working in conjunction with the Illinois State Rifle Association on legislation to curtail the presence of so-called “bump-fire stocks” in Illinois. House Bill 4120 prevents the future sale and possession of the device used during the deadly Las Vegas shooting which left 59 people dead.

“I’m the first person to stand-up for our essential right as Americans to keep and bear arms, whether for personal protection, hunting or another sporting purpose,” said Wheeler. “However, the horrific events in Las Vegas showed quite clearly the devastation that can be caused by a rifle attachment like a bump-fire stock in the hands of an ill person. After speaking with firearm experts and the Illinois State Rifle Association, we all agreed that bump-fire stocks have no practical protection or sporting use and should be taken off the market.”

Under HB 4120, it will become illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess a bump-fire stock in Illinois. Wheeler noted that since 1935 U.S. law has banned most automatic weapons, like the Tommy gun made famous by horrific mob violence in the early years of the 20th century. Since the only purpose of the bump-fire stock is to increase a rifles rate of fire to perform like an automatic firearm, it is an end-around way of skirting safety laws already in place for decades.

“I want to thank the State Rifle Association for working with me to craft this legislation to improve public safety while ensuring the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinoisans is not infringed,” said Wheeler.

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