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Suppressor hearing
The NRA-ILA’s Shannon Alford, left, watches as Todd Vandermyde (left) and Senator Gary Forby testify before the Illinois Senate Judiciary committee Tuesday. Photo by TTAG/GSL’s John Boch.

It was only a few years ago that the Illinois General Assembly legalized the use of suppressors for state and local law enforcement. Yesterday, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action took the lead role in helping nudge forward a bill to allow civilian ownership and use of suppressors through a hostile Illinois Senate Judiciary committee so it can get a free and fair final concurrence vote on the floor of the Senate for final approval.

Senate Bill 206 would allow suppressors for all gun owners in Illinois, not just those in law enforcement. Illinois stands as the only state between the coasts that prohibits civilian ownership of what are in essence mufflers for guns.

Along with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Gary Forby (D), Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA’s dedicated man in Illinois testified before the committee, but he wasn’t alone. The NRA-ILA’s Illinois liaison Shannon Alford sat right behind him and I was close by as well, as Guns Save Life‘s Executive Director. The Illinois State Rifle Association‘s Executive Director Richard Pearson was there along with Whitney O’Daniel from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Illinois Suppressor Bill
The NRA-ILA’s Todd Vandermyde and Shannon Alford at work.

We were there as a team working together with Jay Keller from the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association to ensure the defeat of a gun dealer licensing bill and a proposal to serialize ammunition at a scheduled Illinois House hearing. Those bills’ sponsors chose not to have their bills heard in committee.

At the same time, someone with some juice decided to add a last-minute hearing on the suppressor bill to the schedule with less than two hours’ notice, probably in hopes that they could kill the bill off even though it had already passed both chambers earlier in the year. It needed a concurrence vote on the floor after the House tweaked it slightly.

The anti-gun folks showed up — including the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and G-PAC, the Gun Violence Prevention PAC — in a last-ditch effort to work with the anti-gun leadership of the Senate to kill off the common sense bill once and for all in this session’s final days.

ICHV’s argument is that the bill would allow “us” to kill “our” children silently. Never mind that they couldn’t point to a single homicide anywhere in Illinois (or in any other state) that had been committed with a registered can.

G-PAC’s argument is that federally licensed and strictly-regulated gun stores are freely selling guns to bad guys and this bill would allow more sales to more bad guys. As if a gun shop owner or employee would risk 20-plus years in federal prison to make a few bucks on an illegal sale out the back door.

The behind-the-scenes work by the NRA and other gun rights orgs is a prime example of how hard work and dedication on the ground is what gets good legislation passed and keeps bad legislation at bay. If you think that the fact that Democrats had a bad election year means the gun control industry is dead and gone, think again. Which is why the NRA continues to need your support. Your dollars, along with your votes at election time are what keep them at the forefront of battling our opponents at both the state and national levels.

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    • pwrserge,

      A dedicated 5.56 mm suppressor will not provide any more significant noise reduction than a .30 caliber suppressor. Okay, the dedicated 5.56 mm suppressor might provide 1 dB more noise reduction than a .30 caliber suppressor, which is unimportant if it means you can keep an extra $800 in your pocket.

      Unless you want to have two suppressors so that you can have to suppressed rifles in operation simultaneously, there is no reason to purchase two suppressors. And even if you do end up deciding to purchase two suppressors, purchase both of them in .30 caliber and then you have a spare suppressor for your .308 rifle if the primary suppressor fails … and you can still use that secondary suppressor for both your .308 rifle and 5.56 mm rifle.

      • It sounds to me like Serge can afford 2 cans.

        Who are we to interfere with the happiness of TTAG’s resident Cossack? 🙂

      • The main reason is that I want a slim and light 5.56 can to run on my SBR and a larger but more effective can for my dedicated long-range .308 rifles.

  1. If you’re in IL, call your reps. This made it out of committee with some very weak yes votes… As in those voting yes on it indicated they may not vote yes on the floor vote.

    Getting this killed in the floor vote would be much harder to come back from, and is likely what the anti’s are pushing for. It’s all hands on deck.

  2. This vote will require a super majority to pass due to the fact this is a veto session holdover from the regular session. The Illinois Senate convenes at high noon, if you are an IL peep, grease up those phones and get to calling your Senator.

  3. I just called my senator. He’s a (D), so I’m not holding my breath for his vote. Stranger things have happened, though.

    If you’re in IL, call your senators now!!!

    • There was some very bold handwriting on the political wall Nov 8. Unless your rep is a full on marxistard perhaps he can be encouraged to read.

      • I’m not sure how closely you followed the election results, but Illinois voted for Hillary (D), Tammy Duckworth (D) for U.S. Senate, and Susan Mendoza (D) for State Comptroller. Those were the only statewide contests. There were some surprising results in local races, but overall, Illinois is still blue as a smurf.

        So, where is this handwriting you speak of?

  4. John, your writing style is second to none. While I followed the committe debate, you stretched out the happenings much more than I could have. Kudos, and fingers cross.

    I am awaiting the senate floor which is scheduled to begin in about 90 minutes. I am hoping Forby is awarded with the passage of his final bill before he retires.

  5. Sanity in the Land of Lincoln? I doubt it. The Dems will gin up as much fear as necessary to retain their power.

    Here’s the Dem program for the next 20 years: make sure the people are indoctrinated in public schools, stoned on whatever intoxicant makes them placid, and scared of freedom.

  6. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Gary Forby (D) is from southern Illinois, where the Democrats have a strong presence only because of the coal mining industry. This is a good reminder that not all Democrats are anti-gun rights, and it behooves us to work with them.

    Legalizing suppressors seems easy to me, even for the Chicago legislators. They could go back to their constituents and say “Look, they’re heavily regulated by the feds, and the 40+ states that allow them haven’t seen any problems.”

    If I was a Chicago (D) I would throw suppressors on the table, eager to negotiate for something I really want. Like $Billions to bail out Chicago schools or something.

    Anyway, as a member of the NRA, the ISRA, and GSL, it’s good to see all those boots on the ground in Springfield, and I hope you can be successful.

    • If I was a Chicago (D) I would throw suppressors on the table, eager to negotiate for something I really want. Like $Billions to bail out Chicago schools or something.

      Yes, but that’s not how Chicago (D)s work. They want to use this bill to negotiate further gun control, like the ammo serialization bill, or the gun dealer licensing bill, etc.

      If it has to do with guns… then their negotiation has to do with guns, as well.

      • They failed, both those bills failed to make it out of committee.

        But let’s be honest, the ammo serialization was never going to pass. It’s completely unenforceable and they damn well know it.

  7. Well I hope it happens. My reps all suck really bad but its good to see some sanity downstate. Sorry I didn’t weigh in earlier-my furnace went out(now fixed). May Illinois suck Iess…


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