New gun control bill preposterous

By Gene Martin of Champaign

On January 11, 2008, State Representative Naomi Jakobsson introduced in the Illinois House, House Bill 4349, titled, “Regulated Firearms Encoded Ammunition Act,”* which would create “The Ammunition Accountability Fund” in Section 105, The State Finance Act.

(Please note: “Regulated Firearms”; in other words, controlling the sale of the ammunition ultimately regulates the sale/use of the firearm!)

This bill, as worded, would require law-abiding manufacturers of firearms ammunition to encode virtually all handgun and rifle cartridges and most shot shells to be shipped to Illinois for sale. Both the bullet and the case holding it would be stamped. All cartridges in a box would be stamped with the same number, as would the box holding those cartridges. No box of cartridges/shells would have the same code as any other box from the same manufacturer.

This bill would require the law-abiding retailer who sells the ammunition to a law-abiding hunter, collector, trap/skeet shooter, plinker, to charge the buyer an additional $.05 for each cartridge sold, said fee to be paid by the retailer to State of Illinois, “Ammunition Accountability Fund.”

This bill would require the manufacturer and the retailer to send data to the Director of the Illinois State Police, supposedly so that the data could be used to apprehend the shooter in a firearm-related crime. Because criminals would not likely be using encoded ammunition, nor a legally purchased firearm, I question the true intent of this bill.

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    A Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID card) already is required for law-abiding Illinois citizens to purchase firearms and/or ammunition. This requirement has not prevented criminals who have no FOID, and who should not be in possession of either a firearm or ammunition, from acquiring firearms and ammunition to do whatever it is that criminals use a firearm to do. Despite some 20,000 gun laws in the United States, mostly at the state and local levels, there is no evidence that these gun control laws have made a dent in the crime rate.

    I believe this bill is recognized by most Illinois legislators as being so preposterous that it will never get to the floor of the House, but what is bothersome is the fact that this bill was introduced by a “downstate” legislator. Such bills are usually introduced by Cook County area legislators to further their agenda of banning all firearms in the State of Illinois.