The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution through the Second Amendment. However, some places treat those who want to exercise that right like there’s something wrong with them. It’s getting more and more difficult to buy guns in some places and, if that wasn’t enough, some want to make it even more difficult.
Take Illinois (please?) for example.
It’s already difficult to buy a gun, requiring you to get permission from the state in the form of a Firearm Owners Identification Card, but then you have to deal with all the federal requirements. It’s a pain.
It seems the director of the Illinois State Police wants it to be more of a pain. Worse, he wants to treat gun owners like criminals.
In the year since five workers died in a suburban Chicago warehouse shooting, state officials have beefed up illegal firearms enforcement efforts, including the first-ever operations by state authorities to confiscate weapons from those whose gun permits are invalid, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly said Thursday.
Kelly’s briefing at the state Capitol to commemorate the Feb. 15, 2019 shooting at the Henry Pratt Co.also came with an alert: Increased vigilance of illegal gun possession comes with a price that exceeds current spending. He advocated legislation pending in the Senate that would increase the Firearm Owner’sIdentification card fee and require fingerprinting of gun owners, a measure bitterly opposed by gun-rights advocates.
“We will be able to do a much more thorough, effective and quicker background check, even for law-abiding citizens, if we have that fingerprint,” Kelly said. “Now, as to the constitutionality and the policy and the politics of all that, that’s … an issue that citizens and policymakers and others will debate.”
The problem is, the shooter at the Henry Pratt Co warehouse didn’t show up in a federal background check for a gun sale either. He simply wasn’t in the system.
Yet because of that oversight, Kelly wants to treat each and every Illinois gun buyer like they’re a criminal. He wants to require fingerprinting in addition to the higher fees, and those fees are a significant increase.
The Senate legislation would increase the 10-year, $10 FOID fee to $20 for five years, in addition to the other provisions.
Kelly acknowledged that over the years, $30 million in gun-permit fees has been diverted to other expenses, which the Illinois State Rifle Association points out in a lawsuit filed against the state police this month by taxpayers claiming they’ve waited since 2017 for gun-permit cards.
Richard Pearson, the rifle association presdent, said increased fees are “an inhibitor to a constitutional right.”
Pearson is right, too.
Basically, the ISP is misusing the money collected from the fees, but now are demanding a doubling of that fee as well as cutting the amount of time the FOID card is good for in half, which amounts to still another doubling. So for ten years of gun buying, you have to spend $40 instead of $10.
Plus, of course, the fingerprints.
All to exercise a basic, constitutionally-protected right.
When Clarence Thomas said the Second Amendment was treated like a second class right, he wasn’t joking. In Illinois, it’s becoming almost criminal to exercise that right, it seems.