Southern Illinois Legislators Named to Illinois House Firearms Awareness Task Force

Springfield….Three Republican members of Southern Illinois’ legislative delegation have been named to the Illinois House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. The 24-member bipartisan task force is charged with producing an omnibus, or all-inclusive, piece of legislation that would overhaul the state’s gun laws.

State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton), and State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) were appointed to serve on the task force by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

“I am grateful to serve on this important firearms task force along with my colleagues Rep. Severin and Rep. Windhorst. We all agree that Illinois’ gun laws are already among the strictest in the nation and stand ready to oppose any further infringement on 2nd Amendment rights,” Rep. Bryant said. “I am stridently pro-2nd Amendment and my work on this task force will reflect my position that law-abiding gun owners and gun dealers are already burdened enough.”

In the 100th General Assembly, legislation requiring further licensing restrictions and fees on small gun dealers passed was later signed into law by Governor Pritzker during his first week in office. During a press conference touting the signing of SB 337, Governor Pritzker said, “Today is a long overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure that guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.”

Since January 1, 2019, more than 2000 people have been shot in the city of Chicago.

“The rhetoric coming from Democrat politicians from the city of Chicago and the surrounding urban areas would have us believe the answer to the gun-violence problem in Chicago is more gun laws,” said State Rep. Dave Severin. “Chicago has extremely restrictive gun-control laws already, yet every Monday morning we wake to another staggeringly high number of people that were shot and injured or shot and killed over the weekend. The Democrats’ rhetoric on gun control laws simply doesn’t match the results. When law-abiding citizens are stripped of their rights, we as a society are less safe.”

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst expressed concerns similar to those of Rep. Bryant and Rep. Severin.

“The majority of my constituents feel as though the State of Illinois burdens them enough when it comes to legal firearm ownership,” Windhorst said. “There must be some recognition by the majority party that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to gun legislation will result in further costs, burden, and alienation of average citizens that follow the law and want to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms.”

The first meeting of the House Firearms Awareness Task Force will be Wednesday, October 16, at noon in Chicago.