According to Illinois gun control advocates, doing something about massive and pervasive failures in the state’s gun control laws means enacting more, bigger and increasingly restrictive gun control laws.
Failure to ensure compliance over so many years has resulted in a now-daunting backlog that would require a coordinated, costly effort to fix. A bill pending in Springfield proposes an increase in cardholder fees to fund a task force aimed at following up on revocations. The legislation also would require fingerprinting to obtain a FOID card, a mandate sponsors say greatly improves the likelihood of finding an applicant’s criminal background but opponents say is unconstitutional.
It faces strong opposition from gun rights advocates, who look at any change to current laws as an attack on the Second Amendment. Opponents of the bill promised legal challenges to the legislation should it pass because, they argue, the increased fee structure impedes the constitutional right to own guns.
Longtime gun rights lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said he believes revocations should be enforced, but it’s unfair to make law-abiding FOID cardholders pay for it.
“If this is a public safety measure foisted upon gun owners, then the state should pay for it,” he said.
Annie Sweeney, Stacy St. Clair, Cecilia Reyes and Sarah Freishtat in More than 34,000 Illinoisans have lost their right to own a gun. Nearly 80% may still be armed.