Gun News of the Week: Illinois Congressmen Re-Introduce Gun Owner Licensing Bill for Fifth Time

Illinois Congressmen Re-Introduces Gun Owner Licensing Bill for Fifth Time

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Illinois Congressmen Re-Introduces Gun Owner Licensing Bill for Fifth Time

Two Illinois Democrats have each submitted a bill in the House and Senate that would require gun owners to apply for federally issued licenses, similar to the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card program,

Rep. Bobby Rush has introduced HR 6024 in the House and Sen. Tammy Duckworth has filed SB 3002 in the Senate. Both bills also require the Attorney General to establish a system to track gun sales.

“Americans are demanding that Congress take real action to prevent gun violence and we must address this issue head on and do our part to prevent the senseless mass killings and shooting deaths in cities across this nation,” Rush said in a statement.

Wish said the measure is partially based on the 50-year-old Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card program, which was established before the FBI’s NICS system to conduct background checks.

In Illinois, to legally possess firearms ammo, or tasers, state residents must have a FOID card, which costs $10 and is good for 10 years. It can take up to 30 days to obtain a card after a background check process and, if denied, can be appealed.

“Ironically, lawmakers in Illinois have attempted several times over the years to scrap the FOID program, saying the Woodstock-era vehicle has been made redundant due to advances in technology,” reports Chris Eger in Guns.com on June 8.

Audits confirm the system has repeatedly failed to prevent potentially dangerous people from obtaining a license to purchase firearms, leading to initiatives to reform the system.

“Nonetheless, reports have surfaced that found many with revoked FOID cards still manage to keep their guns,” Eger writes.

This is at least the fifth time Rush has filed this bill. It was first introduced in 2007 and again in 2009, but never left committee. He garnered seven co-sponsors in 2015 attempt.

The bill is an example of the dog-and-pony show that emerges to sidetrack, derail, diminish any non-partisan effort to legislatively address gun violence. The bills make no sense, are redundant, have absolutely no chance of passing, but the mid-term elections are upon us and it plays well in press conferences where Rush and his ilk can assure us that they are doing something.

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WHAT 'TRUMP SLUMP?'

May Sets Another Background Check Record As Gun Sales Surge

The FBI on June 5 reported that its National Instant Background Checks (NICS) conducted more than 2 million background checks in May — the most background checks ever for the month of May.

According to the FBI, NICS conducted 2,002,992 background checks last month. The next highest May was in 2017, at 1,942,677. Before that, the next highest May was in 2016, at 1,870,000.

“Notice a trend?” writes Dean Weingarten June 5 on TheTruthAboutGuns.com. “There were numerous predictions that President Trump would preside over an era of decreasing firearm sales. In fact, firearm sales dropped a little from the record levels in the 2016 presidential election year, but not much. 2017 had the second highest ever yearly total NICS checks. 2018 is trending higher than 2017.”

According to the FBI, at the end of May 2017, the total NICS checks were 10,699,334. In 2018, they are 11,357,627 — which is 3 percent less than May 2016’s 11,698,006, which was the record-setting year for background checks.

“Ninety-seven percent of the all-time record does not a bad year make,” Weingarten writes.

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STATE ROUNDUP

Florida Failed to Conduct NICS Background Checks For More Than A Year

An inspector’s general 2017 report has revealed that Florida has failed to conduct national background checks that could have disqualified people from gaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon for more than a year.

According to a June 9 article by Gary Fineout of the Associated Press (AP), the lapse occurred during a period when there was a surge in the number of people seeking permission to legally carry a concealed weapon in Florida.

Open carry of firearms is not “allowed” in Florida, but more than 1.9 million people have permits to conceal carry in public.

According to Fineout, the inspector general’s report was not widely known until June 9. The report said the state Division of Licensing failed to check the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) from February 2016 to March 2017. The report was sent in June 2017 to the agency that oversees the program.

The Tampa Bay Times was the first to publish information about the report, Finest noted.

The state ultimately revoked 291 permits and fired an employee who was blamed for the lapse.

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IN THE COURTS

Oregon Supreme Court Sets Deadlines To Resolve Confusion Over ‘Assault Weapon’ Ballot Measure

Oregon’s Supreme Court on June 8 denied all requests for oral arguments and directed the state’s attorney general to file a single response by June 18 to five petitions from civil rights activists who want to remove a proposed measure to restrict some types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines from the Nov. 6 ballot.

The court also ordered the five petitioners to reply by June 21.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that proponents of Initiative Petition 43 have until July 6 to gather 88,000 verified signatures from voters to put their measure on the November ballot. They can’t start gathering the signatures before the court rules on the arguments by opponents who say the ballot language is misleading.

The June 8 order accelerates the process while still giving parties the opportunity to submit arguments to the court, Phil Lemman of the Oregon Judicial Department told the AP.

The court can either approve the certified ballot title as-is, rewrite it or order the attorney general to make changes.

If the initiative gets on the ballot, a “yes” vote would require registration with the Oregon State Police of “assault weapons,” defined in this case to include certain semi-automatic rifles or pistols with a detachable magazine; pistol or rifles with a fixed magazine holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition; certain semi-automatic shotguns; and magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

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