Oh, Kathleen Willis and the law of unintended consequences. That or she’s a lot smarter than she lets on. When her “Amendment #1” ran into Democrat opposition for effectively pricing gun ownership out of the reach of inner city people of color, Kathleen Willis came back with a classic move: Have the government dictate the prices allowed in the marketplace.
So, what does that mean?
Just look to Venezuela. Government sets prices for basic commodities and nobody sells anything at that price because nobody’s in business to lose money.
An end to private transfers…
In House Amendment #1, she already set the maximum fee for processing a private firearm transfer at $10… and Illinois’ Firearms Dealer’s Association has said their members will not perform a transfer at that price. “I won’t willingly do a $10 transfer; it is a money loser and an un-compensated risk to my license as an FFL,” Dan Eldridge, President of Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois and owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines, Illinois wrote at The Truth About Guns. I haven’t met a dealer yet that will do a transfer for $10, unless you’re a really good friend. Heck, $20 is a good price. And $35 isn’t unheard of. Neither is $50 for dealers who don’t like doing them.
And they’re suddenly going to start doing them for $10? Not in a month of Sundays.
An end to FOID applications & renewals.
So now Willis, in her SB1966 House Amendment #2, sets the maximum price for fingerprinting at $30.
Hugo Chavez would be proud.
Take Accurate Biometrics… They are the Illinois company that has a chain of shops that do the electronic fingerprinting. They have a slew of government contracts and make big bucks (MILLIONS?) doing electronic fingerprinting for those required to get them.
When Willis’ bill to require electronic fingerprinting appeared in committee on May 21st, Accurate Biometrics went on record via Tim Daniel supporting this racist gun control bill via witness slips.
Because they stand to make a ton of cash printing Illinois 2.5M FOID holders. Read all about the fetid mess here.
Now that the fees would be capped at $30, will Accurate Biometrics still support Willis’ bill now?
Kathleen Willis’ claims vs. reality
Meanwhile Kathleen Willis claims electronic fingerprints can be done for $28. More about that in a moment.
There are 109 Electronic Fingerprint providers in Illinois. A bunch of them are municipal and school-related. They aren’t going to print for the public. And while I didn’t chase addresses myself, I’ve been told there only a dozen or so providers south of I-80. Imagine if there were only a dozen places south of I-80 to register to vote? Imagine Kathleen’s howling in protest at that! (Even if half those locations were south of I-80, it’s still a grossly undue burden on exercise of basic constitutional rights.
So, Willis wants to dictate the electronic fingerprint providers get to provide this service for $2 per person in profit. For something that takes 20 minutes. That makes $6 an hour.
Back before Illinois implemented right-to-carry, as a firearm trainer, I had a company approach me about becoming an electronic fingerprint provider as a benefit to my students. It was going to require about $8,000 or more out-of-pocket for the machine and enrollment in the program. Plus, each submitted set of prints would cost me $31 for the background check plus another $10-15 for the electronic print company (they have to get their cut) plus another couple of incidentals, if I recall correctly. So, if I charged $75, I could make about $25ish in profit.
This is why you don’t see a lot of vendors providing prints for less than about $60. Or about half of what Willis is proposing to set as the maximum charge for prints.
How many vendors are going to provide prints for the privilege of losing $15-20 per person, plus their time?
Even if you take lyin’ Kathleen (she got her reputation at untruthfulness the old-fashioned way, she earned it) at her word that businesses can provide those prints for $28, how many businesses are going to lose money paying someone to take fingerprints to make $2 per set?
Making FOID cards impossible to get, and impossible to renew.
A feature, not a bug.
This bill is likely to go directly to the Illinois House for a vote.
This, frankly, is a win-win for gun owners. If it gets voted down, gun owners will by avoiding this racist gun control. If it passes, and later gets signed into law, it makes a court victory striking down the FOID card even more likely.
Kathleen Willis, in her too clever by half promotion of radical, racist gun control might have just given Illinois gun owners the best present since the Firearms Concealed Carry Act. That present being the FOID Act getting struck down by the courts.
Way to go Kathleen. Now pick up some more cat litter on the way home, will you?