Candidates for Illinois governor offer ideas for gun control

(The Center Square) – With the general election less than a month away, gun laws in Illinois are a heated topic for the candidates for Illinois governor.  

There are several pending lawsuits in state and federal courts challenging a variety of Illinois’ gun laws, including the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Act. During the first gubernatorial debate last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended the FOID card system and an option to submit fingerprints.

“I don’t think it’s too much of an inconvenience for a lawful gun owner or somebody who is purchasing a gun to go through a universal background check,” Pritzker said. “That is what the FOID card is all about.”   

Pritzker, who wants a ban on all assault weapons, traveled to Washington D.C. in July to stand alongside President Joe Biden, gun control advocates and victims of gun violence to herald enacted federal gun legislation. The law included a variety of measures like increasing background checks for people under 21 looking to buy guns. 

His opponent, Republican candidate state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, is in favor of eliminating the FOID Card Act.

“The FOID card does nothing,” Bailey said. “You already have a federal background firearm check. Every state around us doesn’t have a FOID, but we do and the fees keep going up.”

Following a hearing on the July 4 mass shooting in her community, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said she understands there needs to be a focus on mental health, but she urged Congress to pass a federal ban on certain types of weapons as Highland Park has on the books. 

“We are surrounded by states that have far more lenient gun laws and until those states are brought into line with the rest of us, we’re going to have this scourge,” Rotering said. 

The Highland Park shooting suspect obtained a FOID card with his father as a sponsor despite local police submitting a clear and present danger report about him to Illinois State Police in 2019.  

A 2020 study found that less than half the guns recovered in Illinois that were used in crimes were originally purchased in the state.  

Illinois has the 8th strictest gun laws in the country, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.


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October 10, 2022 at 04:08PM

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