Last week, state Representative Sonya Harper filed House Bill 6615, legislation that seeks to create a serialization system of “handgun ammunition” in Illinois. While HB 6615 claims to only encompass handgun ammunition, the language would also go so far as to include most popular pistol, rifle and shotgun ammunition. Similar legislation to HB 6615 has been defeated in multiple other states for its cost and ineffectiveness, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.
Not only would it be ineffective at preventing crime, this anti-gun bill would create a de facto registry of gun owners in Illinois. Every serialized bullet would need to be registered to the individual that purchased it. This legislation would also criminalize the millions of rounds that are currently lawfully owned by Illinois gun owners for target shooting, hunting and personal protection. Those who reload their own ammunition would not be allowed to do so anymore because it would be impossible to match the serial numbers on used cartridge cases to new bullets.
House Bill 6615 will cost millions of dollars to implement and maintain, and is easily circumvented by criminals who seek to commit their criminal acts without care of another law on the books. Criminals already violate gun laws and would continue to use the thousands of unmarked rounds they already possess to commit crimes. Even common household tools could be used to distort or deface the serial number and render it illegible.