Former Astronaut Prepares his Gun Bill for Takeoff in Illinois


I’m sorry, I thought Members of Congress and congressional committees, in the course of discussing their constituent’s concerns and needs, appointed nonpartisan staff lawyers (who know the laws they are affecting inside and out) to draft a bill to correct issues identified in session and that bills could only be introduced by a Member of Congress.


Or am I on glue?

Former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former US Representative Gabby Giffords, was in Illinois this week. Not to see the sights, but to set his sights on more gun control.

“Requiring all employees of a gun shop to be background-checked, instead of just the person holding the business license, will cut down on gun violence in Illinois,” Kelly told the Daily Herald Editorial Board on Friday.

“There are often people who work at licensed gun dealers (who) traffic in firearms,” Kelly said.”They might sell guns out the back or be aware of straw purchasing that is occurring and either … allow it to continue to occur or often are involved in it.”

Kelly also alleged that “40% of guns found at crime scenes in Illinois came from gun stores”, and “a lot of those guns” are trafficked illegally .

Hey astronaut – here’s a statistic: 60% of guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were first sold in other states.

Here’s another statistic: 82.9% of assailants in the shootings committed in the city of Chicago, Illinois are never caught. Chicago PD currently holds a pathetic 15.4% homicide clearance rate.


But a former NASA astronaut thinks gun store employees are the problem. Brilliant.

Somehow, creating a(nother) gun law in Illinois, this time subjecting law-abiding citizens, small businesses and Illinois residents with a paying job to undergo additional scrutiny in response to criminals actions should take a backseat to… oh, I don’t know: maybe solving crimes committed with guns, getting dangerous criminals and illegal weapons off the streets and perhaps just a dash of criminal justice reform to ensure those criminals don’t jail, probation and repeat.

Of course, I’m no astronaut, so how would I know?

Kelly’s bill, called the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, would also mandate Illinois gun store employees get training on identifying gun traffickers, and would allow Illinois to audit the state’s 2,400 gun shops to ascertain compliance with state and federal laws. The full text will be available for review after it is introduced in the state house when the session resumes May 2. Kelly said it is sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Willis and Sen. Don Harmon, both Democrats.


“We didn’t want to look back many years later after the next Sandy Hook and the one after that and be regretful we didn’t try to help,” Kelly said.

State Rep. Ed Sullivan said he thinks the Gun Dealer Licensing Act sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

“Most gun store employees in Illinois are already going to have an FOID card and already have had a background check,” Sullivan said. “People are just throwing spatter on the wall and seeing what sticks.”

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