Residents of the Land of Lincoln will not have to submit fingerprints and pay upwards of $150 in order to own, shoot or even touch firearms after all. House Democrats voted to pass the measure last week. However, sensing the outrage of gun owners, the Illinois Senate’s Democrat leadership killed the bill and closed out their spring session without acting on the bill.
On May 30th, we wrote of how the House passed Democrat Representative Kathleen Willis’ bill to require fingerprints and 400% fee increases to obtain a Firearms Owners’ ID card. Willis’ work of
art tyranny would have also eliminated private firearm transfers and set a cap on the fee dealers could charge for performing transfers on private sales at $10 – an amount that dealers said didn’t merit their time and trouble.
Under the byzantine legislative rules in Illinois, the bill now requires a 3/5ths majority to pass rather than a simple majority. And the General Assembly stands in recess until October.
From the The Center Square:
Illinois residents won’t have to submit fingerprints to the state to get a gun license after the Senate closed out an overtime session without taking up the bill.
The House passed an amendment to Senate Bill 1966 that would have raised fees to get a Firearm Owner Identification card and require applicants to submit fingerprints. The Senate did not take up the measure before leaving Sunday.
State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, supported the bill.
“It’s certainly something that both chambers of the Democratic party are committed to and we’re going to continue to push in the fight for this legislation,” Morgan said.
Sponsors of the measure said the fingerprinting mandate was needed to address loopholes in the system that led to a convicted felon from Mississippi getting a FOID card in Illinois, and buying a gun. That man killed five people at an Aurora warehouse in February even after his FOID card was revoked. State police revoked his FOID card after they discovered his felony conviction, which he had lied about on his initial application.
The only loopholes that facilitated the Aurora Henry Pratt Company massacre involved the state screwing up by failing to find the killer’s criminal history before issuing him a FOID card.
Then they failed to find it again when they approved the sale of a firearm to him.
When they found the conviction record as part of a background check for a carry license application, they correctly revoked his FOID card. However, nobody from the Illinois State Police or any agency went out to his house to collect his S&W .40 caliber handgun and make an arrest of a felon in possession of a firearm.
No one followed up on the federal felony perjury he committed on his 4473 form either, or the state felony perjury on the application for the carry license.
Despite all this, Prairie State gun control supporters love to talk about mythical “loopholes” as if it was a loophole that allowed this tragedy to happen. Far from it. The state of Illinois failed — repeatedly — to follow it’s own laws and procedures on a slam-dunk gun crime prosecution.
Don’t forget that the Henry Pratt Company aided the killer by posting “NO GUNS” signage ensuring the bad guy would face no meaningful resistance during the shooting rampage until police arrived minutes later.
In the picture below, the name of the Henry Pratt Company, where the mass public shooting on Friday took place, can be seen on the back wall in the picture. The no gun sign can also be clearly seen on the door.
Yet another #MassPublicShooting in another #gunfreezone. pic.twitter.com/yKN5poojVK
— John R Lott Jr. (@JohnRLottJr) February 16, 2019
That sign on the front door did absolutely nothing to stop a mass murderer from committing his crime. But it did ensure that law-abiding gun owners didn’t bring their guns into that business.
So what happened?
Democrat Representative Kathleen Willis, now a minor leadership figure in the Illinois House Democrat caucus, wheeled and dealed for votes to get her gun control bill passed in the House. Initially, black caucus members had deep-seated reservations about the steep fees and expensive electronic fingerprinting the bill required and withheld their support.
Willis made some promises, though, and secured the support of the black caucus. This proved ironic considering the bill would disproportionately impact inner city poor people of color that make up the caucus’ constituency. Just like the Jim Crow laws and Black Codes passed by racist legislators a hundred years ago to disarm blacks.
In the end, though, a lot of Dems in the Senate didn’t want to take up the bill. A couple of downstaters facing re-election in 2020 didn’t want rile up gun owners in their generally pro-gun districts.
At the same time, several Chicagoland senators refused to support it. They heard from law-abiding leaders of the communities they represent and the message came through loud and clear: “We don’t like being treated like criminals in order to own a gun for self-defense.”
In the end, Senate President John Cullerton made sure the bill that nobody wanted to vote upon stayed tied up in committee where it effectively died. If Kathleen Willis couldn’t muster a simple majority now, she won’t get a super-majority this fall.
We believe that politicians from both parties will work over the summer and fall to craft a compromise bill. While nothing’s been written yet, we expect fingerprints will remain a part of the final bill, however they will be made optional. At least for now.
Fees will likely double to at least $20 for a ten-year FOID card. Provisions mandating gun confiscations from those with revoked FOID cards may also find their way into the bill. Or at least verifying that guns purchased in the past by a revoked individual have been transferred to a legal gun owner.
This way, politicians from both parties can claim they have “fixed the FOID card” even though the FOID system didn’t fail the victims at Henry Pratt. It was the government that failed them.