In the state of Illinois, you have to have a Firearm Owners Identification card if you own a gun. It’s not just something you need in order to purchase a firearm, but also to hold onto the weapons you already have. If there was one thing that made FOID cards remotely palatable, it was that the cost worked out to just $1 per year ($10 for a permit that lasted 10 years).
Then the shooting in Aurora, Illinois happened. Now, in typical anti-gunner fashion, legislators are trying to plug holes in a system that never worked to keep bad people disarmed anyway. After Aurora, the program’s failures were highlighted. You see, the shooter had a handgun and a FOID card despite being a convicted felon.
And here I thought FOID cards were supposed to stop that kind of thing from happening. Yet they didn’t. Shocking, right?
Now, the Illinois House has approved a measure that they think will plug the holes but will really just create more of a burden on poor gun owners.
Under the bill, FOID cards will cost $20 and be valid for five years. Currently, cards cost $10 and are good for 10 years, something that hasn’t changed since the card was created in 1968.
Of the new fee, $15 would go to the State Police Firearms Service Fund and $5 to the State Police Revocation Fund, which finances efforts to remove guns from people who should no longer have them.
The bill also requires applicants for FOID cards to be fingerprinted. The bill caps the cost of fingerprints at $30, but opponents said the service costs more than that. They also said people in some areas of the state will have to travel long distances to be fingerprinted.
The measure was approved 62-52.
So, the total cost for a FOID card has gone from $10 to $50 and the duration it’s good for has dropped from 10 years to just five. In other words, the cost has gone from $1 per year to $10.
Now, $10 a year doesn’t sound like much. However, you don’t exactly pay in installments like that. You have to have the money upfront and, well, that’s not easy for someone who is struggling financially.
I don’t know how many of you have been there, but I have. I know what kind of a burden this can represent, all so someone can exercise a constitutionally protected right? Seriously?
Remember, this isn’t just about buying a gun. This is about keeping a gun. Lots of people buy guns during good times and then keep them during the lean. Under this measure, if they can’t cough up $50, they don’t get to keep them. Nor do they get to legally keep them if they have no way to get to a fingerprinting location.
I have a problem with that, a big problem.
The Second Amendment reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The people’s right. Not the right of those who can afford it. Not the right of those who can muster up the money for the relevant identification cards.
This is an infringement and an outrage, but it’s Illinois. I expect that from them.
However, this is also a state controlled by a party that claims to value to the poor. Clearly, what they mean is that they value the poor who think like them and screw those poor who actually want to have the means to defend their own lives rather than count on their overlords in government to do it.