Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Controversial firearms ban law requires owners to submit affidavit by Jan. 1

When the so-called “assault weapons ban” legislation was passed in Illinois in January of this year, I was an outspoken opponent, claiming the measure violates the United States Constitution and is a major infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. Legislative Democrats in the Senate and House used their supermajorities to pass the bill, and Governor JB Pritzker signed it into law on January 10, 2023. The so-called “assault weapons ban” is now listed in the State Statutes as Public Act 102-1116.

Even though the law continues to be challenged in federal court, on Monday, September 18, the Illinois State Police (ISP) released rules to implement part of the law. While the new law bans a variety of so-called “assault” rifles, it allows owners of those firearms to lawfully keep possession as long as they submit an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card account before January 1, 2024, affirming they owned the firearm(s) prior to January 10, 2023—the date in which the law took effect.

Under the controversial law, affidavits must include the applicant’s FOID card number and the make, model, caliber, and serial number of each firearm.

The ISP says it will begin accepting affidavits online starting October 1, and they must be submitted online through a FOID Card account by the end of this calendar year. The registration portal can be accessed through ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website or by going directly to:

I maintain my belief that the law is unconstitutional and believe the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately strike down the law.

Upcoming events in the 32nd District

We had a great turnout for the student financial aid seminar I co-hosted with Senator Dan McConchie last week. A lot of useful information was shared, and participants asked very good questions. Events in the 32nd District continue in October, with three more outreach events, which include:

  • October 10, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, 10 W. Grand Avenue, Lake Villa

  • October 12, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM, Rivalry Alehouse, 945 Main Street, Antioch

  • October 17, Senior Fair: 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon, Grand Oaks Recreation Center, 1401 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake

Application period for energy bill assistance to open in October

Low-income Illinois families can soon begin to apply to receive financial assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The application period begins Monday, October 2, 2023, under a tiered system, allowing priority groups the first chance to receive available funds, including seniors (age 60 and older), disabled and families with children under the age of 6 years old.

Then, on November 1, 2023, households that are disconnected from their utilities/energy vendors, have a disconnection notice, or have less than 25% in their propane tank can start applying for LIHEAP assistance. All other income-eligible households can start applying on December 1, 2023.

The amount of support families can receive varies based on the needs of the applicants, but last year over 311,000 households received an average of over $1,000.

The eligible income thresholds can be found on the Help Illinois Families website. Families can also call the hotline at 1-833-711-0374 if they think they might be eligible for the program.  

Small equipment grants open for local fire departmentsSmall equipment grants open for local fire departments

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal announced the application period for the Small Equipment Grant Program is now open to eligible fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and not-for-profit ambulance services.

In an effort to address the financial hardships many fire departments face, the Small Equipment Grant Program provides grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. Under the program, $4 million is available and qualified departments must apply by December 15, 2023.

Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply.

Craig Wilcox

Want to stay up to date with Senator Wilcox?

Sign up for his E-Newsletter below: