The Waffle House shooting was a strange case, to be sure. The killer in that incident was clearly a deranged individual with serious mental health issues that transcended him being a mass killer. In fact, it was bad enough that the Secret Service knew the guy, for crying out loud. He’s apparently a complete nutbar.
Despite its already strict gun control laws, however, Illinois is considering making some changes intended to prevent a similar incident.
The Illinois Senate on Wednesday advanced new rules about the transfer of firearms in response to the mass shooting at a Waffle House last month in Nashville, Tenn.
[The shooter], 29, formerly of Morton, has been charged with four counts of criminal homicide in the killings and remains in custody in Tennessee. Authorities have said his firearm owner’s identification card previously had been revoked and his guns transferred to his father, Jeff Reinking of rural Tazewell County, who returned them.
The Illinois Senate measure aims to prevent similar situations by allowing for a minimum of one year in jail for people who return firearms without first checking to see if the recipient has a valid license. There’s currently no punishment on the books.
I’ll be honest, I’m kind of surprised they didn’t already have a rule on the books about this. As strict as everything else is, it just seemed they’d have a rule in place all about transferring a firearm to someone without a Firearm Owner Identification Card.
I have mixed feelings about something like this.
On one hand, I despise the FOID system in general. It’s absolutely ridiculous that you should have to get a special identification card before you can purchase a weapon when the dealer is going to conduct a background check. If this doubled as a concealed carry permit or something, maybe, but it’s not. It’s just permission to buy a gun, and the Second Amendment includes no provision for begging our masters in government for permission to exercise our right to keep and bear arms.
On the other, however, we do have laws about putting guns in the hands of crazy people, and this guy certainly qualified. I’m stunned that a state like Illinois has no way to prosecute this guy’s father for giving his son his gun back while he had to know the son was still a prohibited person. I’m floored at that.
My default position is that if the gun grabbers in Illinois like this provision, I’m probably against it. I can’t help but think how many people a law like this will turn into accidental criminals. After all, it’s impossible for people to remember each and every law that’s passed. Someone may well hand a gun to someone who lacks a FOID anymore and not realize they’re committing a criminal act.
Anything that creates more stumbling blocks is a bad thing, and I’m afraid that’s all this is going to do.
With the state of Illinois, though, I can’t help but wonder how many are hoping it’ll do just that.