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It’s just a bill

Friday, Jul 15, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

In response to mass shootings that occurred in New York, Texas, and most recently in Highland Park, State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) filed legislation to hold parents consenting to FOID applicants under 21 years old criminally liable for any damages resulting from their use of firearms. Rep. Batinick filed House Bill 5769 on Friday to ensure parents are also held criminally liable in the events of these tragedies.

“The mass shootings that plague our nation and state regularly are stealing the lives of our loved ones, neighbors, and children,” said Rep. Batinick. “House Bill 5769 will help us hold parents criminally liable in Illinois for any damages resulting from the firearm, firearms, or ammunition in which they consented for their child under the age of 21 to have the FOID card to purchase. We need to take gun safety seriously and ensure that our younger adults are prepared, trained, and fit to own a firearm by adding this layer of accountability for parents consenting.”

The Firearm Owners Identification Card Act states that individuals must be 21 years old to apply for a FOID card. Individuals under 21 years old must meet certain requirements and have the written consent of their parents or legal guardians who are eligible to also possess a FOID card. Currently, parents of children under 21 who give consent are civilly liable for damages resulting from the children’s use of firearms or ammunition. HB 5769 will also hold parents criminally liable in these events.

According to a February article from the National Institute of Justice, from 2010 to 2019, the average lives mass shootings claimed increased to 51 deaths per year and of known mass shooting cases, 77% engaged in mass shootings had “purchased at least some of their guns legally, while illegal purchases were made by 13% of those committing mass shootings.”

“This is practical legislation we can apply to increase firearm safety awareness and awareness of the consequences of firearm damages,” said Rep. Batinick. “This is a way to help make our communities safer and ensure kids under 21 and their parents fully consent to the great responsibility of owning firearms.”


* Patch

State Sen. Bill Cunningham (18th District) Rep. Fran Hurley (35th District), who represent one of Chicago’s most populous neighborhoods of police officers, introduced legislation that could provide officers with some much-needed rest and relief.

The proposal is designed to end the city’s practice of routinely canceling officers’ regularly scheduled days off to make up for chronic staffing shortages.

“The Chicago Police Department has approximately 1,500 fewer officers than it is budgeted for,” Hurley said in a news release. “The way to fix this problem is to hire more officers, not cancel scheduled days off for existing officers and force them to work 12 or 13 days in a row without relief.”

Cunningham said canceling days off has become a routine staffing police for CPD and “part of a misguided crime-fighting strategy.”


  1. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 11:39 am:

    Your responsible criminally for your kids criminal actions seems like a risky idea in general. It might be a bit logical to extended that to other things like traffic stuff if you kid is under 18 and has a DL.

  2. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    yep. also wish we could extend criminal liability to those who don’t have a FOID card but who live with mommy and or daddy who clearly know their kid has a piece.

  3. - Not a Superstar - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 11:52 am:

    I am not sure this bill does anything. It says the sponsoring parent “may” be criminally liable. But it doesn’t tell us when they will be liable—we will still have to rely on the facts of each case. For example, in the Oxford, Michigan school shooting, the parents were charged with manslaughter because they had specific knowledge of his intentions. But Michigan didn’t have a parental responsibility law, and still they brought charges.

  4. - Livco - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    Based on the ways in which guns have been used as a marker on “toughness” publicly (Hello Bailey and other R ads across the country) and a way to belong to a club, I don’t know that criminal liability for parents moves the needle much. It’s too distant a risk to overcome the immediate incentives of attention and group participation.

  5. - ChicagoBars - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    The Batman bill seems to largely copy the “Social Host” law that Illinois has to criminally punish a parent/adult providing alcohol to underage people. Upgrades to a Class 4 Felony if death or serious injury ensues.

    That law passed pretty easily IIRC back in 2013. But somehow bet this becomes much more contentious.

  6. - ChicagoBars - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    Just looked it up, that Underage Alcohol Social Host criminal liability bill passed both chambers by overwhelming margins. Public Act 97-1049.

  7. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    I’m sympathetic to police officers who are overworked. But remember, a good rule of thumb for public employment is that every ten new hires adds $1 million to the annual budget. If it was easy to come up with $150 million more per year, these vacancies would be filled by now.

  8. - Upper command - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    So lets not focus on removing all guns from private individuals, instead we will pass a bill that hammers a parent of an adult? Sure this plays well to your voters making them think youreproactive in gun control but does nothing to prevent a shooter. Also why does it take a sad incident to cause a cry for action? The democrats have had total control of the state at all levels for decades and could have passed any meaningful gun control law,they wanted to….???????

  9. - The Doc - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==Your responsible criminally for your kids criminal actions seems like a risky idea in general==

    I think we skied down that slippery slope. We already hold parents criminally responsible for their kids having parties with underage drunk driving at their homes.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===at all levels for decades===


    Rauner was a Republican governor a mere 3+ years ago… GHR was governor all through 2002.

    You know that and are being an utter phony, or you’re ignorant of these things and merely like to say “Democrat” to feel empowered?

  11. - James the Intolerant - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Cunningham and Hurley, what are your plans?
    CPD is attempting to hire. Not an easy task.
    What is easy is to pander to your base with solutions that aren’t going to happen.

  12. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:41 pm:

    =Your responsible criminally for your kids criminal actions seems like a risky idea in general.=

    It is already so on many issues. This bill should have been brought forward after the Waffle House shootings. Totally support it because the parent has to make an overt act to get their under 21 a FOID.

  13. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 12:51 pm:

    Totally support criminal liability for FOID card co-signers. The comparison to a parent’s liabilty for alcohol being provided to an underager was first thing that came to mind.

    Also if a person co-signs a loan they are on the hook if the person they co-signed for messes up.

    I don’t see how this is different.

  14. - thisjustinagain - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:02 pm:

    hisgirlfriday: The co-signer is civil liability, the other is criminal, so huge difference there. You can’t get convicted for co-signing a loan unless there’s fraud involved.

    TO CPD staffing: CPD has been short-staffed for a few years now; promotions, retirements, quits, and inability to find applicants wanting to work in the City have led to the problem. CPD made it worse by no-notice mass rescheduling during riots and pre-possible-riot situations.

  15. - DuPage - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    They should extend it to parents of gang members with illegal guns.

  16. - ChrisB - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:11 pm:

    If you’re worried that you’ll be held criminally liable for something your kid does if you sponsor them for an FOID card, perhaps you shouldn’t sponsor their FOID card.

  17. - Elmer Keith - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    “They should extend it to parents of gang members with illegal guns.” I think a variation of this might be a good idea. Like extend liability to people living under the same roof to have some responsibility for minors possessing guns. Kind of like the gangs using minors as shooters, but they prosecute the gang bosses for giving the orders.

    That being said, it looks like the Highland Park case is really a failure of the local police and State Police to enforce. Instead of just saying “oh well” and waiving the “Back the Blue” flag, I’d like the see the day when police negligence can be prosecuted also.

  18. - NickNombre - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’m ok with criminal liability for sponsoring a FOID card in principle, but it shouldn’t apply when a parent has no warning signs or when they took clear action to notify authorities of a potential issue. It appears Article 5 of the Criminal Code of 2012 may allow for those exceptions, but it may be something that needs to be further defined.

  19. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    ” … to hold parents consenting to FOID applicants under 21 years old criminally liable for any damages resulting from their use of firearms.”

    If he’s serious, he’ll expand that to include dependent adult children with mental illness.

  20. - NickNombre - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:31 pm:

    There is a big difference between the Social Host law and this one. It is illegal to possess alcohol when you are under 21, so anyone who provides alcohol to that person has already committed a crime. It is not, however, illegal to possess a firearm under 21, so there is no crime committed when a person sponsors someone under 21 for a FOID card.

  21. - TNR - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:34 pm:

    == CPD is attempting to hire. Not an easy task. ==

    And one of the things that makes it harder to attract new officers (and retain current officers) is forcing them to work 12 or 13 days in a row without a day off.

    @47th Ward has it right, it’s cheaper for the city to pay huge overtime than hire new officers

  22. - froganon - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    Criminal liability for parents/guardians who sign off for an underage FOI card is a great idea. If a parent is worried, they should refuse to sign off - that is the goal. I would add a mental health evaluation, mandatory reporting of any suicide attempts in the previous five years and a review of social media.

  23. - Sue - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    Perhaps the legislation should be limited to misstatements or omissions made by the signing parent sponsoring the minor’s FOID permit. A person shouldn’t be held criminally liable for the acts of anyone other then themselves

  24. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 2:22 pm:

    @The Doc -

    “at their home” is the operative phrase.

    Batinick is trying to preserve gun ownership for gun owners under 21. It’s a terrible idea, especially if we are relying solely on their parents’ judgment.

    The bad teens who do bad things with guns tend to have bad parents with bad judgment. We cannot rely upon parents to determine whether their kid is fit to own a gun.

    I’ll be shocked if this kid’s dad didn’t provide him with the money to buy his cache of weapons.

    That’s unfortunate for all the good parents out there whose kids are well-balanced and mature beyond their years.

    While it’s not clear where the line must be drawn, it’s clear it must be drawn somewhere. If it were up to me, I would draw the line at 25 for men when male brains are finally fully developed.

  25. - The Doc - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 2:55 pm:

    @ Thomas Paine

    Definitely hear what you’re saying, and don’t disagree. But I think we should give thoughtful consideration to any proposal that may reduce gun violence - especially one being sponsored by a member of the ILGOP.

    I certainly hope this is only a first step, but we need to start somewhere.

  26. - RNUG - Friday, Jul 15, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    Won’t do much good; won’t do much harm. But the sponsors can get a headline pop and campaign ads our of it.

    RE Chicago … maybe they should figure out why no one wants to work for them in law enforcement. Along with the other stuff already cited, the perceived war on LE and perceived Cook County catch and release also contribute.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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