Illinois Teen's Arrest Suggests FOIDs Don't Work

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In Illinois, the law states anyone who wants to buy a firearm has to have a state-issued permit, or FOID. In theory, this keeps criminals from buying guns better than the federally-mandated NICS check which looks for the exact same stuff as the state’s check does. How it’s somehow better is beyond me, but proponents swear this works.

I accept that they believe it does, anyway, but I’m not so sure I’m willing to accept that it actually works.

Just the violent crime statistics out of Chicago should be more than enough to suggest that it doesn’t. Yet it’s not just Chicago that illustrates the point.

Police officers said they were sent to the 1800 block of Johnson Park [in Springfield, Ill] in a response to a Shotspotter alert. When the police arrived, they saw a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old boy, who was later identified as Lafonzo Swope, living in the apartment that was reported through the Shotspotter alert. They searched this apartment and found a .40 caliber Ruger pistol, 9mm Intratec TEC-DC pistol, body armor, spent shell casings, 84 grams of cannabis, 14 grams of methamphetamine, ecstasy pills and a digital scale.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but 16- and 18-year-olds can’t get FOID cards, right?


I mean, it’s almost as if criminals are able to get guns without getting a permit to purchase a firearm. How is that? I mean, criminals are usually known to be such law-abiding souls who would never break the law, right?

Or, you know…not.

I mean, if the laws against selling drugs weren’t enough to dissuade these two from pursuing this line of work, why would anyone be stupid enough to think a permitting requirement would actually have any kind of impact? Laws don’t act as disincentives to those who don’t actually care about the laws in the first place.

Meanwhile, people trying to do everything right are currently having to wait more than a year to get their FOID cards so they can purchase a firearm so as to protect themselves from the criminals who completely skip the process.

Take two men. One a criminal and one law-abiding. They both decide they want a gun in the state of Illinois.

The law-abiding citizen goes and applies for his FOID and waits. And waits. And waits.

In the meantime, the criminal goes and talks to his buddy who has a line on a gun. He swaps some cash for the firearm and it’s done.

When it’s easier for the criminals than the law-abiding, there’s a problem. Gun control proponents argue that the laws actually make it more difficult for criminals, but I’ve never seen that to be true. Instead, law-abiding citizens suffer through endless waits while the bad guys just talk to other bad guys.

It’s not rocket science here.

These were teenagers. Only one was old enough to buy a gun of any type anywhere, and definitely not the type of guns found in the two’s possession.

Look, FOIDs don’t work to keep criminals from getting guns. Not much will, to be fair. It’s well past time to scrap that entire system and recognize the reality. It’s time to stop infringing on people’s rights because you think you can stop the criminals.