Illinois' Attempt To Address FOID Delays Will Probably Make It Worse

Illinois' Attempt To Address FOID Delays Will Probably Make It Worse
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The state of Illinois is having a problem with its FOID system. There are incredible delays that are keeping tens of thousands of residents from being able to lawfully purchase a firearm.

So, they’re trying to address it. Good for them.

Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be a colossal trainwreck that will just make stuff worse.

Democrats in the Illinois House are advancing a new measure that would require both mandatory fingerprinting before getting a firearm owners identification card and universal background checks before gun purchases.

The proposal cleared a House panel on Thursday just two days after bill sponsor State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison) filed an amendment including the new language and garnered more than three dozen co-sponsors, including House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside).

Willis said she wouldn’t compromise on mandating fingerprints or universal background checks before all gun sales — except for those between immediate family members.

“We have to have a better way to do background checks and fingerprints are the best way to do that,” Willis said. “Same thing with universal background checks. If we don’t do that, there’s a loophole in the law, and people that have shady backgrounds will continue to do personal sales and not go through gun dealers.”

Now, bear in mind that Illinois already requires private sellers to verify the person they’re selling it to has a FOID, which requires a background check to get. That’s not enough. No, everything has to go through an FFL holder.

And who in the world thinks the solution to speeding up the FOID system is to add another layer of BS in order to get one?

Willis clearly doesn’t understand the subject at hand if she thinks this will somehow improve the problems Illinois–namely in Chicago–is having with gun violence.

The firearms trading done by criminals bypasses all of this in the first place. That’s not going to change because you’ve passed a new law. They ignored the old one, they’ll ignore the new one.

Meanwhile, what will fingerprint requirements do to the FOID system? Well, it’ll delay it, actually.

See, a simple background check doesn’t really take all that long. You input some data and wait for a computer to spit back any information you have. You might have to do it in several systems, but it’s not overly complicated.

Fingerprinting, however, takes longer. Rather than filling out some paperwork, you now have to go and have someone physically fingerprint you, just to buy a gun. Further, fingerprinting systems have to compare the fingerprints being input with any in their database. It has to account for any variation in how the print appears and compare multiple points to see if a match exists or not. That takes time.

And this is a system that’s already bogged down?

Yeah, this is going to make absolutely nothing better. Then again, for people like Willis, they don’t want to make it easier for law-abiding citizens to get a gun. They’d much rather treat everyone like criminals.