An Illinois legislator has introduced a bill to have the Illinois State Police comb through social media accounts before issuing a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Or to revoke an existing card. Yes, it’s very similar to the proposed legislation promoted in New York State, but you had to know it wouldn’t stop there.
In the Land of Lincoln, gun owners must have a valid Firearm Owner’s ID Card. If one’s FOID gets revoked, you have 24 hours to get rid of your firearms. Without a FOID card, you can’t buy guns or ammo. Or even touch them, legally.
So, this “social media checks for gun owners” bill worries plenty of us. The synopsis of House Bill 0888 reads as follows:
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers’ social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account.
Yes, as if Illinois’ proposed semi-auto gun ban isn’t troubling enough, now gun grabbers want to poke around our social media accounts looking for a reason to pull gun owners’ tickets. These would include public forums as well.
Under this bill’s provisions, as part of a FOID card application process, an applicant would have to furnish social media account IDs and passwords. Some $15 an hour ISP civilian hire could then snoop through your posts, photos and videos – public and private – in your social media accounts.
Strangely, the proposed legislation doesn’t specify exactly what would prohibit firearm ownership. It’s just loosely defined as “any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card…” Meaning that in practice, it will be anything they want it to be.
Is it any wonder why that over 45,000 productive Illinois residents moved out of the state last year?
So, does this bill have a prayer of passage? The good news first: no co-sponsors have added their names to the legislation. The bad news? The legislators don’t return until Tuesday.
This bill might prove a hill too far for some more “moderate” Democrats. Time will tell. Obviously gun rights groups in Illinois will keep a close eye on it and fight it at every turn.
The bigger question for gun owners: How many more states will seriously consider social media screening for gun ownership? And when was the last time you looked over your social media account postings?