State Senator Sam McCann is speaking in further detail regarding the legislation he filed last week regarding air-guns.
The central Illinois-based Senator filed Senate Bill 2583 last week, which attempt to clean up some of the state’s regulations pertaining to air-guns and other air-pressured guns, as currently, Illinois treats most air-guns as any other firearm.
Since these air-guns are treated the same way firearms are, they are also subject to the same rules and requirements as firearms, such as requiring a FOID card to own and possess one. As for what prompted McCann to file this piece of legislation, he says the issue was brought to his attention by a constituent from the four-county area.
“This issue was brought to my attention by a constituent from Greene County. And as the constituent pointed out, in Illinois, any air-gun that fires at a velocity of 700 feet per second or more, or with a piece of ammunition greater than .177 caliber – which is actually a very small projectile – is treated the same as a firearm. It’s treated the same as a rifle, it’s treated the same as a shotgun, it’s treated the same as a pistol, and of course, air-guns are not firearms,” McCann says.
With recent school shootings dominating headlines around the country, Senator McCann says it’s a strange time to file legislation that deals with the control of firearms. He also says he’s recently filed an amendment to slightly alter the bill.
“It’s an interesting time to be attempting to advance anything that essentially is viewed as a reduction in the FOID act, and that’s what the bill does. I actually just filed an amendment this week that I think simplifies the bill. It basically says, if it’s an air-gun, you don’t have to have a FOID card to buy it, own it, possess it, use it, and I think it just simplifies everything,” explains McCann.
McCann also says that, while he acknowledges the financial burdens Illinois is currently facing, it takes more than one individual to solve the state’s problems. In the meantime though, McCann says he will continue to engage with his constituents, and hopes Senate Bill 2583 is a reflection of that.
“I have people con tact me when we have bills like this and say, ‘Gosh Sam, the state being what it is financially, the state is burning around us financially and you’re working on something like this?’ Well obviously I and many other people understand that we’re in a bad way economically in this state. But I can’t go to the capital and single-handedly get a budget, balanced or otherwise. What I can do is listen to my constituents when they come to me with issues like this one or others, craft a bill that hopefully rectifies the issue and provides more liberty to the citizens of Illinois,” says McCann
McCann says he hopes that Senate Bill 2583 will drive further conversations regarding various other issues in downstate Illinois, particularly in west central Illinois, that he feels often tend to get swept under the rug.