It happens every time there’s talk of gun control laws: The left predictably scoffs at gun owners, calling them paranoid for not trusting the state.
“Nobody wants to confiscate your guns,” liberals assure the rest of America. “Stop exaggerating.”
Flash forward to Thursday. Lawmakers in Democrat-controlled Illinois have passed a bill to — you guessed it — confiscate currently legal firearms from gun owners. So much for being paranoid.
According to Breitbart News, HB 1465 has moved to the state Senate after being passed in the House a week ago. The measure would require citizens between the ages of 18 and 20 to give up ownership of certain guns that they bought legally, or risk becoming seen as criminals.
“The guns and magazines remain legal for persons 21 and up, but persons under 21 would have 90 days to give up ownership,” Breitbart explained.
“The NRA-ILA described the weapons covered by HB 1465 as ‘commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms,’” continued that news outlet. “The bill also requires 18-20-year-olds to forfeit ownership of any magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.”
Semi-automatic rifles, contrary to the portrait painted by the mainstream media, are neither especially exotic or rare. They are actually the most common type of modern firearm owned by law-abiding citizens today, used for sport, hunting and personal defense. At the same time, rifles are used incredibly rarely in actual crimes.
The wording of the bill also made it possible for the government to confiscate handguns, depending on how the definitions are interpreted. Lawmakers outlawed semi-auto pistols for residents under age 21 if the handgun has a “shroud that partially encircles the barrel.” The slide of every modern handgun could meet this definition.
Of course, lawmakers who voted for the legislation offered empty promises that law enforcement would not visit homes to collect the guns. Instead, people who are found with the prohibited firearms would be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor on the first offense.
Penalties would increase for citizens who continue refusing to comply with the law. Those promises are no doubt being taken with a grain of salt by Illinois residents, considering that the same legislators promised that nobody would be confiscating legal firearms to begin with.
The bill must still pass the state Senate to become a law, but it has already picked up support in that chamber. There are currently 37 Democrats in the Illinois Senate, versus 22 Republicans. The state’s governor is a Republican, but his willingness to veto the bill is unclear.
There are a few key points to take away from this development. First, the assurances of liberals that “nobody wants to confiscate your guns” should be dismissed immediately. The evidence doesn’t lie. One look at both the state and federal level shows Democrats lining up to do exactly that, yet the left seems to think that nobody has noticed.
Second, these types of “backdoor bans” are exactly the tactics that Second Amendment supporters need to watch. Gun grabbers know that even on their best day, they cannot pass a blanket ban on firearms in the United States.
Like a ratchet that is tightened one click at a time, Democrats are trying to dismantle gun ownership gradually. It will start with 20-year-old citizens. “Nobody under 21 needs a gun,” they’ll insist, essentially saying that young women, new families, and people old enough to fight in Iraq don’t have a right to self defense.
The line will slowly be moved. One category of citizen at a time, gun rights will be eroded… not in one major sweep, but in a series of “reasonable” laws that happen to be tearing up the Constitution one shred at a time.
Anyone who supports the right to self defense and the Second Amendment needs to speak out. The left may think that they are finally winning, but have a long track record of underestimating actual Americans.