* Rick Pearson at the Tribune…
The Illinois House on Wednesday gave final approval to a comprehensive gun safety measure aimed at modernizing Illinois’ 53-year-old firearms owner’s identification card law while also requiring background checks on private sales of firearms.
The bill passed by a 75-40 vote, but a procedural hold was placed on the measure to prevent it from going directly to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk. Supporters said they expected the hold to be lifted quickly.
The action comes almost two weeks after the Senate gave its backing on a 40-17 vote, and follows constituent complaints about delays in getting a FOID card or having it renewed amid an flood of applications to Illinois State Police, which has been swamped trying to process the numerous requests.
The bill provides additional money the state police for dealing with FOID and concealed carry applications, and seeks to boost efforts by law enforcement to take away firearms from people who have had their FOID cards revoked, including from those who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or the public.
Click here for dot points from the Illinois State Rifle Association, which was neutral on the bill.
* Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News Illinois…
During floor debate, Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, said he had issues with some of the language in the bill, but he would vote for it because of its increased enforcement mechanisms. Wheeler said he had family connections to two people killed in the Aurora Shooting at the Henry Pratt Company warehouse.
“And just so it’s clear to everyone, that (shooter) had his FOID card revoked, almost five years before that horrible incident occurred. Five years before the shooting, but law enforcement had no tools to be able to recover that (gun),” he said.
Trevor Wehner, who was killed in the shooting on his very first day as an intern, Wheeler said, was the son of his high school classmate, Tom Wehner. Wheeler said he voted for the bill per Tom Whener’s request.
“There are a lot of things in this bill that I don’t love, that I don’t think are going to work the way they may be intended,” Wheeler said. “And I commit to all my friends in the (Second Amendment) community that we will work on getting those corrected before this bill takes effect… But this bill gives law enforcement the actual chance that necessary tools to prevent another tragedy.”
* By Kevin Bessler at The Center Square…
Backing off mandatory fingerprinting, which will be voluntary, was a key to compromise with gun rights groups like the Illinois State Rifle Association.
State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, said the bill is incomplete and will end up in the Supreme Court.
“It is not going to fix the outstanding problems that people are experiencing when it comes to actually getting their FOID cards,” Mazzochi said. “It is also not doing anything to increase the penalties on individuals who are arrested for gun crimes without a FOID card.”
State Rep. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, said Illinois should do away with FOID cards.
* Hannah Meisel wrote a good piece on the FOID bill before the House took it up yesterday and I neglected to post it. She included info about another bill that also passed yesterday…
And another piece of legislation that aims to improve on Illinois’ so-called “red flag” law appears poised to see a vote on Wednesday. The firearms restraining order law — a measure Willis passed three years ago — allows loved ones to petition a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to take firearms from those who post a danger to themselves or others.
Freshman State Rep. Denyse Wang Stoneback (D-Skokie) already passed her legislation that would expand the law to also take away a person’s ammunition and other “firearm parts” in addition to guns and aims to speed up the process by which those items are confiscated after a restraining order is granted.
Additionally, that bill mandates the creation of law enforcement training curriculum on how to use the restraining orders and also asks the State Police to develop a public awareness campaign around the red flag law, as Stoneback says it’s currently underutilized.
The Senate, however, made minor amendments, and the House looks ready to concur with those changes Wednesday.