In response to a mass shooting that left five dead and six wounded, including five police officers, Gov. Pritzker recently signed legislation designed to improve communication between State and Federal databases of people who are prohibited from owning firearms. It also provides resources to help deal with the backlog of FOID and CCL applications.
Besides the shooting itself, the issue that led to this bill was that the shooter had a 1995 felony conviction on his record that should have prevented him from getting a FOID card and subsequently a firearm in 2014. The mistake was discovered several weeks later, and the FOID card was revoked. The State police sent the shooter a letter telling him to turn in his gun and notified local police. But the shooter didn’t comply, and no follow-up was done to check that he did.
Now the citizens of Illinois have a new law that should help to prevent such mistakes in the future. Unfortunately, it also came with a version of Universal Background Checks that now requires a Federal check for all private person-to-person sales or transfers. The seller now must send a record of the sale to an FFL that includes the gun’s make, model, and serial number, and that FFL must keep that record for twenty years.
The bill also had a so-called “carrot” for gun owners. If they voluntarily submit their fingerprints, the State will prioritize their applications for CCL and FOID cards and allow for 10-year automatic renewals.
So basically, Illinois gun owners now have a law telling the State to do what it already was required to do by law with the incentive of some more money, and lawful gun owners now have to submit to background checks to sell their guns privately.
Will either be enforced? Will there be any real benefit? Will any future shootings be prevented?
Well, at least state politicians can now feel better that they “did something.”