Illinois Bills Show Anti-Gun Knee-Jerk Reactionism

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Despite having some of the toughest gun laws in the country, Illinois played host to a deadly mass shooting in an Aurora, Illinois warehouse when a former employee came in and shot up the place. An additional spotlight on the state came into play when it was learned that the killer was a convicted felon who followed all of the state’s requirements to purchase a handgun, including obtaining a Firearm Owners Idenficitaion card.

Now, lawmakers are scrambling to close whatever loophole allowed the killer to arm himself in the first place.

Only, they’re not.

What’s happening is that they’re using the shooting and the hysteria around it, to justify further encroachment into the gun rights of law-abiding Illinois residents.

State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Northlake) is backing Senate Bill 1966. Willis said the bill comes in response to the Henry Pratt workplace shooting at an Aurora factory which resulted in the death of five employees. Several responding police officers were also injured.

“We were shown the glaring need for this legislation earlier this year when a man who should never have been allowed to obtain a firearm killed five people and wounded seven more – including our brave first responders,” said Willis. “A serious approach to keeping our communities safe starts with properly enforcing gun safety laws. This bill makes it clear that we are serious about keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”

The legislation would close so-called background check loopholes, institute universal background checks, require all gun sales to happen through licensed dealers, increase the period for approving or denying gun owner licenses to 90 days and allow for cancellations, require mandatory fingerprinting for all gun owner applications and renewals, and increase information sharing about prohibited gun owners or gun revocations among police.

It should be noted, yet again, that the Aurora killer passed all of his background checks before buying his firearm. Not just the FOID check, but also the NICS check performed by the gun store that sold him the weapon. It wasn’t that the check didn’t come back, so they sold the gun. No, he passed the check.

So why this push?

Easy. Willis and her cohorts know and understand that not everyone has access to a facility to apply for a FOID. Currently, they can do so online. By requiring fingerprinting, they remove that option completely. That means it will become virtually impossible for some Illinois residents to legally purchase a firearm without traveling at their own expense to the nearest facility, which could be a goodly distance away.

That means an increase in the expense for these people to legally purchase a firearm. Once again, that creates an undue burden on the poor, like a lot of other recent anti-gun proposals.

The thing is anti-gun lawmakers don’t care. They don’t care about anyone’s Second Amendment rights. All they care about is putting controls in place so that gun ownership becomes untenable so they can brag about how they’re “doing something” about Chicago’s problems with violence.

Meanwhile, violence will continue unabated because nothing being proposed will stop it, nothing at all.

Nor will it stop the next Aurora, either.