Congressional Democrats introduce gun licensing bill

Congressional Democrats introduce gun licensing bill
Steve Helber

The state of Illinois requires every lawful gun owner to get a Firearm Owner Identification Card. You can’t have a gun without out and you have to jump through the hoops to lawfully get one.

They also have the city of Chicago, where violent crime is rampant. It seems gun licensing doesn’t actually help as some want to believe.

In fact, two Illinois Democrats believe it so hard that they want to make it federal law.

May 11, 2022 Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) reintroduced the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act, today, to help reduce firearm violence in Illinois and across the country. This legislation would prohibit unlicensed firearm ownership and the transfer of firearms without a valid firearms license, as well as direct the U.S. Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system and conduct fingerprint-based nationwide criminal background checks — which could have prevented the gunman who killed five people in Aurora, IL in 2019 from acquiring the firearm he used in the shooting.

Of course, it should be remembered that as I noted previously, it hasn’t done jack to stop the violence in Chicago.

Further, the shooter in the Aurora, IL case was a convicted felon who actually passed the FOID background check and NICS check


Moving on…

Rush first introduced this legislation in 2007 and subsequently reintroduced it in 2009, 2013, 2018, and 2019. This bill is named after Blair Holt, a Chicago Julian High School honor student who was gunned down protecting his friend when a gunman opened fire while they were riding home from school on a crowded public transit bus. This week marks the 15th anniversary of his death.

“Gun violence has needlessly claimed the lives of too many children, and I have repeatedly introduced this commonsense legislation to prevent more families’ lives being shattered by bullets,” Rep. Rush said. “Although we cannot prevent all deaths, we can eliminate unnecessary risks and give law enforcement and communities better tools to keep guns away from people who have no business using them. I thank Senator Duckworth for working with me to push this bill forward.”

“I don’t want my daughters to have to grow up in a country that won’t protect them from gun violence,” Sen.Duckworth said. “We owe it to the countless and growing number of gun violence victims to take action, which is why I’m proud to continue working with Congressman Rush on this common-sense solution to help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands. We will keep pushing until our nation’s schools, offices and public spaces are safe from gun violence.”

You keep saying “common-sense solution.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

We already know that criminals routinely trade in firearms regardless of any law put in place anywhere in the world. They find ways to obtain firearms that are completely outside of the law and did so long before technology like “ghost gun” kits or 3D printers were a thing.

Sorry, but this is, at best, putting a band-aid over the break in the dam. It’s not going to accomplish anything except make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get a firearm. That’s all gun licensing actually does.

The Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act is modeled in part after the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) statute and would:

  • Protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of qualifying firearms to unlicensed individuals.
  • Make sure that owners of qualifying firearms are knowledgeable in the safe use, handling, and storage of those firearms.
  • Restrict the availability of qualifying firearms to criminals, children, and other persons prohibited by federal law from receiving firearms.
  • Require universal background checks for all purchases or transfers of firearms.
  • Facilitate the tracing of qualifying firearms used in crime by federal and state law enforcement agencies.

All of which are on the books in Illinois and…**gestures at Chicago**

See, while it uses the term “all” an awful lot, what it really means is “all lawful.” It may require background checks and special ID cards, but it ignores the reality that criminals will not be doing any of this. They’re not inhibited by gun licensing literally anywhere it exists. Not in the least.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an average of 321 people are shot with a firearm every day in the United States — 111 of whom die. The gunman who killed five individuals in 2019 at Aurora’s Henry Pratt Company was prohibited from having a firearm license because of a prior felony in Mississippi but was able to slip through the system and his application was accepted. This legislation would address this loophole by requiring individuals seeking a firearm license to submit their fingerprints along with their firearm license application.

Yeah, except he had been issued a FOID card. It had lapsed by the time of the shooting, but he still got it.

Now, why should we assume that a man who managed to get an Illinois FOID card and pass a NICS check would miraculously be prevented from getting a gun under this law?

We shouldn’t.

Additionally, this is an attempt to license a constitutional right. You don’t have to get a license to speak freely or worship as you wish, but this law would require each and every one of us to get a special license just to own a firearm despite the Second Amendment.

I’m sorry, but I’m not remotely interested in such a thing. Gun licensing is little different from gun registration, for one thing–the government still knows who lawfully has guns. Additionally, gun licensing clearly doesn’t do anything. Again, see Chicago.

And that’s ignoring the major cluster flop that is the Illinois gun licensing system.

On the upside, Rep. Rush has been trying to push through this legislation for years. He and Duckworth can introduce this legislation all they want. It doesn’t have a hope in hell of passing this time around, either. While it may make it through the House–they seem inclined to support all manner of gun control–it’s unlikely it’ll do much in the Senate.

I mean, if a simple universal background check bill can’t make it through, how can anyone believe this abomination can?