Macomb – House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has appointed State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) to the House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. House Speaker Michael Madigan announced the creation of the Task Force in a letter earlier this month. The Task Force is composed of 12 House Democrats and 12 House Republicans, with members of the Task Force being appointed by their caucus leader.
“State government has a responsibility to keep our communities safe while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” said Rep. Hammond. “I am a staunch advocate for keeping dangerous criminals off the streets of our communities, but I fear that this Task Force will be used to punish law-abiding gun owners and make firearm ownership more costly and onerous for these individuals. That’s wrong. I hope that my Democratic colleagues in the majority will look into the root causes of gun violence, rather than limiting the rights of Illinois’ law-abiding citizens. I will continue to support the Second Amendment in the General Assembly and oppose legislation that limits the ability to exercise our Constitutional rights.”
According to Speaker Madigan, the purpose of the task force is to “review the issue of gun violence and make recommendations designed to reduce violence.” The House Democrat who will head the Task Force told one media outlet that members of the Task Force will examine the possibility of amending Illinois’ concealed carry law, regulating rifles, and drafting a “comprehensive, statewide omnibus bill” to regulate firearms.
Most of the Democratic appointments to the Task Force supported one measure this past legislative session to make firearm ownership more costly and onerous. The measure, Senate Bill 1966, would increase FOID card fees by 400% and require FOID cardholders to submit their fingerprints to the Illinois State Police. Rep. Hammond opposed that legislation.
“With veto session rapidly approaching in October and November, the majority party will look for more opportunities to limit our Second Amendment rights,” Rep. Hammond continued. “A clear majority of residents in western Illinois and the 93rd District support the Second Amendment and safe, responsible gun ownership. I urge gun owners and advocates to remain vigilant and speak out as the General Assembly debates gun control legislation.”