An Illinois man pressed his state senator on her support for a gun-control bill during a town hall last Tuesday, and seemingly got her to admit her true intention: seizing his firearm.
At issue was a portion of Illinois Senate Bill 107, which would require residents to turn over semiautomatic firearms to the state or pay a fine. The legislation would also ban future purchases of the weapons.
In a video released by the the Illinois State Rifle Association, the unidentified man was heard objecting to bill as tantamount to gun confiscation. Sen. Julie Morrison, a Democrat representing the 29th District, dismissed the notion that she plans to “take away” citizens’ “semiautomatic firearms.” But the town hall attendee was unconvinced.
“You want me to turn them over to the state police unless I pay a fine for each firearm and register them, then I get to keep them,” he said to applause from the crowd.
Visibly exasperated, Morrison threatened: “Well, you just maybe changed my mind. Maybe we won’t have a fine at all, maybe it’ll just be a confiscation and we won’t have to worry about paying the fine.”
SB107 amid the broader debate on guns
The town hall exchange highlights the cultural and ideological divide over the hot-button issue of gun violence in America.
Proponents of gun control, citing firearms homicide and mass shooting figures, argue that American gun culture contributes to the greater incidence of gun violence in the country when compared to other developed nations.
Gun rights advocates, meanwhile, push back by claiming that the debate is based on overblown and misleading narratives. They emphasize the importance of the Second Amendment and urge “gun-grabbing” liberals to keep their distance.