CHICAGO (CBS) — Gun control advocates plan a rally in Springfield on Wednesday, to urge state lawmakers to approve legislation aimed at closing perceived loopholes in the state’s gun licensing system.
The measure would require anyone applying for or renewing a Firearm Owner’s Identification card to submit fingerprints as part of their application. It also would require background checks for all gun sales, including by private sellers.
FOID Card fees would increase from $10 to $50, and licenses would be valid for five years instead of the current 10.
The legislation also would require Illinois State Police to create a web portal to share a list of people who have had their gun licenses revoked with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
Rep. Kathleen Willis, the bill’s House sponsor, said it’s a way to ensure criminals don’t get firearms.
The state’s FOID Card system has come under scrutiny in the three months since a gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Co. warehouse in Aurora, killing five co-workers and wounding five police officers.
The shooter was able to get the murder weapon despite a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi. Illinois State Police did not learn of the conviction until Martin later filed an expedited application for a concealed carry license. Police notified him his FOID Card had been revoked, but he did not surrender his gun as required.
“I think that shooting pointed out a gap in the law, and it’s a gap that we could easily fix; that people with violent criminal histories don’t have access to guns. So it seems like a change in the law that many of us can get behind,” said Laura Singer, a member of Moms Demand Action.
The National Rifle Association has urged its members to contact Illinois lawmakers to oppose the bill.
The House Judiciary – Criminal Committee has endorsed the legislation, and the full House could vote on it at any time. If approved, the measure would then go to the Senate.