According to numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health, nearly 17,000 people came from other states to Illinois to terminate a pregnancy in 2022. That's more than 5,000 more than the year before. In 2020, most abortions performed on those from out of state came from Missouri and Indiana
"These numbers are alarming and I wish the state would do something about this, but however they continue to incentivize this," Halbrook said, "it is unfair to the taxpayers of Illinois to first of all pay for abortions and secondly pay for folks abortions from out of state."
Of 2.5 million Illinois FOID cardholders, only 29,000 had registered their weapons by the December 31, 2023 deadline created by the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA).
The PICA law, passed by a lame-duck General Assembly in January 2023 and promptly signed by Gov. Pritzker purports to sharply restrict the ownership of so-called “assault weapons” in Illinois. PICA, which applies to almost all owners of privately possessed firearms, also applies to ancillary items associated with certain forms of rapid-fire weaponry.
A facet of the PICA law included language requiring owners of firearms seen as falling under the described categories of items covered within the law to register them with the Illinois State Police prior to January 1, 2024. However, many Illinois gun owners are opposed to this law. As part of their opposition, they also oppose the mandate within this law of registering individual weapons and related items with Illinois law enforcement. While the Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) Act requires firearm owners to register as named individuals with the State Police, nothing in the FOID Act requires FOID-registered owners to list or enumerate the firearms they currently own.
The PICA law remains under legal appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Plaintiffs assert that the 2023 law is an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents and citizens. It is not known how many PICA-defined firearms are in Illinois hands, but the categories of firearms described in the law cover many types of firearms that are popular throughout the U.S. Many Illinois gun clubs offer members the chance to bring these firearms to a secure location, and to practice firing them. Based on gun club and social activities among firearm owners, there may be hundreds of thousands of these firearms in Illinois. However, only about 29,000 Illinois residents had submitted PICA registration forms to the Illinois State Police by the December 31. 2023 deadline. Observers believe this is only a small fraction of the total number of Illinois persons who possess firearms covered by the controversial new law.
The State Police has continued its efforts to generate rules to implement the Protect Illinois Communities Act. The rules will be on the agenda of a General Assembly committee, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), on January 16, 2024. It is believed that many people are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to render a final judgment on the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act.
This Weeks House Chamber Action:
Halbrook resolution honors, defends religious freedom
On Religious Freedom Day this week State Representative Brad Halbrook introduced a new resolution in the House to commemorate and protect that precious right guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States.
“There’s a very good reason that freedom of religion was the very first right guaranteed in the first amendment to the Constitution…it was fundamental to our democracy then and still is today’” Rep. Halbrook said.
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