mail order ammo

Mail-order ammo bill dodges bullet

by The Telegraph  |  published on December 10, 2012

One of the highlights of the just-completed veto session in the Illinois General Assembly was when lawmakers overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of a bill regarding mail order sales of ammunition.

The Legislature’s action was significant because it prevented the governor from overstepping his constitutional powers by trying to rewrite a piece of legislation to the point of changing its intent completely.

Earlier this year, the Illinois House and Senate passed Senate Bill 681, which was written to address a quirk in state law regarding mail-order sales of ammo. Current state law allows individuals to purchase ammunition through the mail from companies that operate outside of Illinois, but ammunition merchants operating in Illinois are not allowed to mail ammunition to Illinois residents without being in violation of FOID regulations.

In an effort to put Illinois’ dealers on a level playing field with businesses all across the country, the General Assembly passed SB 681 to allow lawful gun owners to purchase ammo through mail orders in Illinois.

Now, if Quinn simply had chosen to veto the legislation, he would have been within his rights. Even if he simply had used his amendatory veto powers to make some technical adjustments to the bill’s provisions, that would have fallen under the traditional definition of the amendatory veto.

But Quinn did something radical. He tried to rewrite the bill to make it into gun-control legislation, which was never the intention of the legislation’s sponsors. By the time the governor finished his amendatory veto, the bill would have banned the sale or possession of semi-automatic rifles, high-capacity magazines and .50-caliber guns.

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