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Rowe, Bailey, Bryant Speak Out at Final Gun Ban Hearing Monday

Illinois Radio Network contributed to this story.

With litigation against Illinois’ gun ban still pending, despite Friday’s appeals court ruling upholding the law, some are looking for a legislative body to block Illinois State Police’s gun ban registry rules.

Illinois’ gun ban has been in effect since Jan. 10. Several lawsuits challenging the ban were consolidated and taken up by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. After hearing the challenge in late June, the court issued its order vacating a lower court’s preliminary injunction. Several other cases are still pending in district court. 

The registry component of the law for grandfathered firearms opened Oct. 1. Illinois State Police were told by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to hold public hearings about the emergency rules. The first was in Springfield Thursday. The second was in Chicago Friday

About 150 people attended the third and final public hearing on ISP’s gun ban registry emergency rules Monday in Caseyville. Some are looking for a legislative body to block the rules. 

The lack of a public address system at the hearing didn’t prevent IllinoisCarry.com’s Valinda Rowe of White County from getting her point across that more needs to be done to address mental health rather than banning certain weapons to address gun violence.  

“Instead of creating ineffective laws and rules that put our law enforcement at risk of violating the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and do nothing to make us safer,” Rowe said. 

Dan Eldridge with Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois asked why ISP waited until late September to file emergency rules, rather than a more normal, orderly process. 

“That process requires I believe two 45-day comment periods, which, if you had published these rules in May, five months after the act had passed, would have been sufficient,” Eldrige said. “So, here we are with emergency rules that will be in effect for 150 days, well past the registration window.” 

ISP said it worked with other state agencies and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to publish rules “as quickly as possible.” 

Former state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, asked why ISP Director Brendan Kelly was not in attendance. A spokesperson said Kelly was off with other ISP business and couldn’t attend. 

After Monday’s hearing, state Sen. Terry Bryant, R-Murphysboro, said she heard more questions than answers and JCAR needs to block the rules. 

“They need to be leaders in this and leading doesn’t mean you create laws that violate people’s constitutional rights,” Bryant told The Center Square. 

Bailey said JCAR should strike down the gun ban registry.  

“I hope they do, but unfortunately, many people don’t understand how JCAR consists of six Democrats and six Republicans, so you essentially have to have two from one of the parties to go with the other,” Bailey told The Center Square after the hearing. “It’s an election year. Do you see that happening? I don’t think so.” 

JCAR meets at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Springfield. ISP said it hopes to work with JCAR in the weeks ahead to address various concerns with the gun ban rules. 

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