Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0855
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Full Text of HR0855  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Gun violence is an ever present problem in the
3State, as well as nationwide; an example of which is 8 persons
4dying in Chicago in one week in October due to gun violence;
6    WHEREAS, In the past few years, court rulings, including
7the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia V.
8Heller, in interpreting the Second Amendment to the United
9States Constitution have overturned long standing precedent,
10which had supported state and local authority to deny gun
11possession when necessary to promote and protect public safety;
12in order to reach its decision, the 5 member majority of the
13United States Supreme Court either ignored or misinterpreted
14much of the clear and plain wording of the Second Amendment;
16    WHEREAS, As stated by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens in
17his well-thought out dissent on behalf of 4 Justices in Heller:
18"The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the
19people of each of the several States to maintain a
20well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised
21during ratification of the Constitution that the power of
22Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national
23standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of



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1the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the
2arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest
3interest in limiting any legislature's authority to regulate
4private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no
5indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to
6enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the
7Constitution."; rather the Second Amendment's original purpose
8was to act as a check on federal gun-making policy, not to
9prevent individual states from creating gun policy as they saw
10fit; and
11    WHEREAS, The legal view of the Second Amendment as a
12collective, militia right, and not an individual right, held
13for over 200 years until the Heller decision in 2008, which
14invalidated a law barring individuals from possessing a handgun
15not registered before the law took effect and annual
16registrations for the remaining handguns; and
17    WHEREAS, The Heller decision and other pro-firearm
18industry court rulings have resulted in a proliferation of guns
19in numerous communities and have diminished the security and
20freedom of our citizens to enjoy a life free of gun violence;
21living with the fear of gun violence is contrary to living in a
22free society; high levels of gun violence are a threat to the
23security of whole communities; and



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1    WHEREAS, The cost of gun violence has been pushed onto
2everyone except the people and companies that produce and sell
3firearms; the firearms industry benefits financially when more
4guns are sold; more firearms in circulation leads to more gun
5crimes, homicides, and suicides to the extent that gun-related
6deaths will soon exceed the number of deaths in automotive
7crashes; but the Heller decision effectively said that most of
8the Second Amendment should be disregarded in favor of the part
9that is most profitable to the firearms industry, "the right of
10the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"; and
11    WHEREAS, Throughout the history of the United States,
12federal and state laws have regularly placed restrictions on
13who can legally own, possess, and use firearms; even prior to
14the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, gun control laws
15were enacted; therefore laws restricting gun access are not
16anomalous to American law; and
17    WHEREAS, Before these court decisions, state legislatures
18had been able to pass laws restricting gun access if it was in
19the best interests of public safety; therefore, be it
22urge the courts, especially the United States Supreme Court, to
23restore interpretation of the Second Amendment as a right



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1afforded to state-sponsored militias that as Justice Stevens
2stated in his Heller dissent, " ... it does not curtail the
3Legislature's power to regulate the non-military use and
4ownership of weapons ... ".