The Illinois House of Representatives met on Wednesday to work through several items left over from the Spring Legislative Session which had adjourned in the early hours on June 1st. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and his fellow Republicans had issues with many of the bills discussed. Namely, changes made to the FOID card program.
“We have spent many hours working to find ways to improve the process for gun owners in this state. Instead, we make ‘streamlining’ changes that could have been done without legislation,” said Rep. Meier. “I fear that by making these changes legislatively, it will become a backdoor for codifying anti-2nd Amendment changes down the line, such as fingerprinting and illegal seizure. That I cannot abide by.”
The FOID Modernization Act makes numerous changes to the Firearm Owners Identification Act, including administrative changes and changes to fingerprinting, private transfers, automatic renewal, and mental health reporting, among others. For example, firearm owners can voluntarily submit fingerprints to be added to a database of registered firearm owners. The incentive being the renewal process will be sped up for those who chose to submit. Many, including Rep. Meier, have concerns over such measures.
“Why does there need to be fingerprint submitting? We are talking about a right guaranteed to us by our Creator and that is enshrined in the Constitution. Instead of focusing on hiring more staff to more effectively handle the number of applications and renewals, we get gimmicks and petty bribes to ‘fix’ the broken process we currently have,” said Rep. Meier.
Another leftover item included correcting the numerous drafting errors discovered in the 3000-page budget pass just after midnight on June 1st. What was not addressed were the failures contained in this budget including, but not limited to, legislative pay raises, hundreds of millions in new taxes, and $1 billion in pork projects earmarked for Democrat districts only.
“This budget remains one of the most partisan budgets I have seen during my time in the General Assembly. The budget failed to properly address the $5.5 billion unemployment fund deficit, which will now be placed on the backs of our business owners. Future funding for claims are now in doubt because Democrats failed to use $8 billion Cures Act for its actual purpose. And where we could have paid down debt, the Democrats chose to treat themselves to more of your money. Voting twice on this bad budget is an embarrassment to the General Assembly and the people of Illinois,” concluded Rep. Meier.