illinois social media background check FOID
Courtesy Twitter

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?

51 COMMENTS

  1. Must be taking their cues from the ChiComs. Social media accounts are becoming the bane of a free and open democratic society. Time to end all relationships with the social media giants and put an end to their reign of terror to all free thinking people.

        • Let me start off by saying I’m not a tech law expert, so anyone feel free to correct me. But I don’t think this particular thing wouldn’t really effect commenting here much. A hyper power like the NSA could figure out your info from TTAG, likely without TTAGs consent, but this particular bill is about social media accounts. For a state like Illinois to get info out of TTAG, first it would have to know you commented here, then try to force TTAG to turn over it’s info on you. For social media all they need to do is look up your name on the billboard that is social media. At least that’s what it seems to me.

        • Ummmm no. I work in IT.

          Like Gadsden said, the NSA could track the IP you use to the ISP. If it is coming from you home then the ISP would know the IP…for a while. They only keep that data for so long (URL mappings to IP). If like I am doing now, your IP comes from a place that has many, many, many people on the internet…well then good luck to the NSA, especially since the firewall at my current location anonomizes all traffic to come from a single IP/MAC address.

          The government of iLL has WAY, WAY, WAY less ability. Also like said, they would have to know you/I commented on this site. I personally NEVER use my real name or even an email address that I own. I hope everyone does the same.

        • Larry,

          Your head-end firewall anonymizes IP address and MAC address. Note, however, that your firewall most certainly does NOT anonymize every computer’s technology “signature” — which entails its operating system and version, browser type and version, and additional details that are specific to a particular computer — most/all of which your computers send to the websites that you visit.

          Thus, if the only information that Big Brother has is your IP/MAC address, then you are indistinguishable from all the other computers/users behind your firewall. If Big Brother has computer signatures in addition to IP/MAC address, Big Brother will know who posted what.

      • Ditto. This rag is the closest thing I’ve ever participated in that could be considered “Social Media”.

        “Is it any wonder why that over 45,000 productive Illinois residents moved out of the state last year?”

        No, it’s a wonder more haven’t done so. But they always bring the crap baggage along that they accepted in IL. CA and the NYC area people as well. Better to just stay and fix things there rather than create another “caravan” to invade a decent state.

    • Check out what the Chicoms are doing with what’s called “Sesame Credit”. It’s pretty Orwellian, and there’s a ton of folks that want to bring that exact system here.

  2. Two things:
    2. “Shall not be infringed”.
    1. Social media is dumb. Real relationships are created and maintained face to face.

    • It’s not the fault of most of the people of Illinois that Chicago is a shithole that keeps rigging elections. Take a look at any electoral map. Outside the collar counties, nobody votes Democrat. The Madigan machine has made sure that those people’s votes don’t matter.

  3. Social media accounts? What social media accounts? Prove as a matter of law that any of the accounts I use actually belong to me. Good luck. Extra-territorial VPNs and throwaway email addresses are a thing.

    • pwrserge,

      See my earlier comment above that every computer has a fairly unique technology “signature” which it sends to the websites that you visit. That technology signature arrives intact at the sites that you visit whether or not you got there through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel. If Big Brother has any reason to acquire your computer’s technology signature, they can positively connect you with anything that you have posted.

      As for temporary/disposable e-mail accounts, you do realize that Fedzilla has to be logging all the IP addresses and resulting issued e-mail accounts at such sites, correct? (And Fedzilla is probably doing it without the knowledge of the temporary e-mail sites via the surveillance laws that they passed shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks.) That would mean Fedzilla can match your IP address to that temporary e-mail account.

      As far as I know, the only way that you can be truly untraceable is if you purchase a brand new computer in cash and only use it at public Internet hotspots — and never, ever give any specific information that someone could tie to you.

      All the obfuscation stuff doesn’t do any good if the hacker gets to watch all the traffic, knows the algorithms, and has “back doors”.

      • Pretty sure the Illinois State Police are not the NSA. FYI, most of what you posted is complete technobabble garbage.

        • While the Illinois State Police are obviously not the NSA, I am pretty confident that Fedzilla could connect you to your Internet activity if they really wanted to, regardless of temporary e-mail accounts and VPN tunnels.

          I did not understand the whole technology signature thing until someone described it and then showed me what my computer reported to a remote website when I queried that website.

  4. Okay, help me out here guys — I am not defending Illinois’ or New York’s policies, but I’ll be damned if I can’t see a way “forward” on this.

    On the one hand, we scream and howl when someone tells the entire Social Media world that they’re going to go shoot up a school, and nobody does anything to stop it.

    But on the other hand, when someone says “hey, let’s look at their social media clues to see if they’re problematical”, we scream and howl about privacy and “precrime” and “thought crime”.

    We clamor for “extreme vetting” before letting anyone in the country, but if we then do vetting like asking for their password to see if they’ve posted jihadi screeds on their facebook page, we scream that it’s an invasion of privacy.

    So — obviously we should be intelligent about this, there are those who telegraph their intentions and they really should be stopped, and not stopping them is just plain criminal negligence. So how are we supposed to do that?

      • Exactly this and maybe actually arrest the crazy posting stuff publicly when they commit a crime. So your state or mine for the first court challenge?

        • Probably yours. The Illinois bill was introduced by a paid of rookies with no connections. It’s probably not going anywhere.

        • Likely right given the lockstep voting we have had thus far. Well time to see if the wife and I can skate in under the next proposed ban hammer and wait out renewal. Good luck on your side as that FOID exploit could be brutal

      • That sounds good. That sounds like something I would like. I will gather more intel. I do have Tor but it’s clunky and I do a ton of work on the web. I used to have a Facebook page and LinkedIn, and did a lot of productive business that way, but with half my social “friends” in the entertainment biz (with the typical political affiliations and opinions) and the other half Tennessee rednecks that I love and grew up with, I just got sick of the bitching and whining from both sides. I unplugged over a year ago and am super glad I did, but I lost that marketing tactic. Worth it. But until I retire (c’mon, 2027!), I need strong, fast connectivity.
        And, yes, this is sorta close to social media, but very educational.

  5. And where does it end. You want a passport show me your papers citizen. How about a drivers license. And anybody who thinks only the left is capable of this kind of official oppression I’m going to sell you sand in the desert.

  6. The commies are showing their true colors after 30 years of BS about how moderate and commonsensical they are.
    Not just on the 2A issue, but on all issues.

    • Honest question…. how do I know the service isn’t compromised by the government? If my job was national security I know I’d be trying to infiltrate services like that

      • They are, don’t fool yourself. Firewall uh huh, but if the fire gets to hot the passenger compartment still burns up.

  7. The phone companies can’t even stop telemarketers from spoofing caller ID. How are they going to certify the validity of anything on social media.

  8. Maybe THIS subject is why the founding fathers made the SECOND AMENDMENT, too protect the FIRST AMENDMENT, what do ya think 🤔 ???

    • It might actually be for the best if one of these actually makes it and becomes law. This is so blatantly unconstitutional on its face that it could be a great way to set some government limiting precedent. Not to mention fostering stiffer resistance to this kind of overreach, not just for guns, but in many other areas as well.

  9. A few things here.

    First of all can we apply this to other rights? I imagine the Left would shit a brick if we suggested that one had to submit such information for a voter registration card or if such a rule was required for you to maintain your voter registration. Hell, they don’t even want you to have to show ID for that.

    Secondly, this would appear to me to be a gross violation of rights listed under Amendments 1, 2, 4 and 5.

    Third, even if it’s not a violation of A’s 1, 2, 4 and 5 all at the same time it is at the very least requiring that you give up your first and forth Amendment rights so that you might have a shot at exercising your 2A rights.

    Personally I find this proposal, wherever it shows up, delicious. It’s a true admission by the Left of the kind of totalitarian statist control that they desire and it should be something we hammer the ever-living fuck out of them with.

  10. We need an organization to query social media whenever anyone evens hints at running for a political office anywhere. Especially involving extra-marital relationships that spouses may not be aware of. I mean any office including dog catcher.

  11. Thanks for the info Boch…I just deleted several FB gun groups. Should I include GSL? And TTAG is a helluva long way from secure😡😩😢

  12. This opens up the door for some epic level trolling. How would I be able to prove my loser brother Fixt_It was the one posting publicly under my name as part of a smear campaign for me not lending him cash? I doubt they investigate beyond just reading a comment under whatever name is above it.

  13. Actually, I hope the State of Illinois knows exactly what I think. Please arrest me. That way I can claim I am a real thought criminal as opposed to just feeling like one. I just love being treated like a registered sex offender without the necessity of being accused or tried for a crime. I just love being considered a potential criminal because I exercise a civil right. I simply love living in Illinois where you must prove yourself innocent before a crime is even thought about, let alone acted on. Perhaps the state should begin constructing a gun owner re-education camp. At least I know no Chicago gang members will be with me. They don’t seem to be prosecuted very often. But, as we know, the real problem lays with those who don’t believe in the goodness of the social elite who are deemed much more qualified to tell us how to live our life than we are.

  14. This whole Gun Id Card law sounds Unconstitutional.

    What do you expect from Illinois, land of Shitbama? Sanity? Liberty?

    Only GOOD thing to come out of Illinois is Federal 9BLE.

  15. , the Apple glitch kinda let the cat out of the bag on what a 3g phone can do, It’s not just social media, Big Brother is in our pockets. 40 million free government phones, why?

  16. Copying federal law. A tourist visa to USA now requires that you supply social media sites and password to TSA / homeland security.

    As ttag is the only site I comment on regularly that may get me banned if too many anti gun laws go through congress.

  17. In the early morning hours there’s a din in the air;
    mayhem’s on the loose.
    Stormtroopers comin’, and you better be prepared.
    Got no time to choose.
    Get ready. Stormtroopers comin’.
    Comin’ up that street, jackboots steppin’ high.
    Got to make a stand.
    Looking in your windows and listen to your phone.
    Keep a gun in your hand.
    Get ready. Stormtroopers comin’.
    Get ready. Stormtroopres comin’ around.
    Two hundred down, and it’s comin’ ’round again.
    Got no second choice.
    Where’s the justice and where’s that law.
    Raise your healthy voice.
    Get ready. Stormtroopers comin’.
    We’ll be ready. Stormtroopers comin’.
    Getting ready. Stormtroopers comin’.
    Get ready. Stormtroopers comin’.

    Stormtroopin’ written by Ted Nugent, circa 1975
    I wonder if Ted was referring to the Windows operating systems on our (at that time futuristic) computers.

  18. Does anyone else wonder what gang they’ll join when we’re all in prison for thought crime? I sincerely hope I get multiple offers, altho it would be refreshing to start a new crew.

  19. Maybe the best solution is for the major cities to become separate city states. And the rural areas can then govern themselves as independent states. The city can then be as perverted as they choose. And the rural areas can then live a more conservative life without Liberal interference.

    Unfortunately it will never work. Liberals will always sick their noses into the private business of other people.

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