Proposed law mandates additional background check and mandatory training for gun purchases

Illinoisans who are interested in purchasing a firearm may soon face additional requirements, even with the state already conducting almost four million background checks in 2023. A proposed bill suggests that individuals will need to complete state-approved training and undergo three background checks before being able to purchase a gun.

According to a Second Amendment advocate, the current gun-restriction bill is being used as a strategy to prevent law-abiding citizens from accessing firearms.

State Representative Maura Hirschauer, a Democrat from Batavia, is the sponsor of House Bill 3239. The proposed legislation aims to enforce stricter requirements for Illinois residents who wish to purchase a firearm. Under this bill, individuals would be required to complete eight hours of training and fulfill other prerequisites. The bill is currently being reviewed by the House Judiciary Criminal Committee and is scheduled for discussion in Springfield on Tuesday. However, Representative Hirschauer’s office has stated that she will not be calling for a vote on the bill this week.

According to William Kirk, the president of Washington Gun Law, the proposed measure would mandate that individuals desiring to buy a firearm must visit their local law enforcement department and undergo a background check that includes fingerprinting.

According to Kirk, once individuals are granted permission, they have a 180-day window to purchase a firearm. They must present their card to the federal firearms licensee (FFL) who will then issue a receipt. It works like a punch-card system, allowing individuals to buy one firearm per permission slip. In addition, Illinois has the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card requirement. Therefore, anyone with a FOID card must undergo a background check. Furthermore, those familiar with the gun purchasing process know that all FFLs are obligated to conduct a federally-mandated background check. Lastly, individuals are also required to undergo a background check when they obtain their permission slip from the local police.

In Illinois, residents must possess a FOID card to legally own or purchase firearms and ammunition. The Illinois State Police reports that there are currently over 2.4 million individuals who hold FOID cards, which accounts for approximately 19% of the state’s population of 12.7 million. Cook County has the highest number of active FOID cards, with over 730,000 issued by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, Champaign County has issued 34,144 FOID cards to its residents.

According to Kirk, residents in Illinois will need to undergo a background check in order to obtain a background check.

In February, Illinoisans went through thorough background checks for firearms, making it one of the states with the most extensive screening processes. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois recorded a total of 248,767 background checks during that month. Among these checks, 163,355 were “permit rechecks,” placing Illinois in second place nationwide. Kentucky topped the list with a total of 321,300 checks, including 294,377 rechecks. Utah followed closely behind with 50,486 rechecks for the month of February.

Illinois Tops the List with Over 3.9 Million Firearm Background Checks in 2023

According to data from the FBI, Illinois recorded a staggering 3,961,236 total firearm background checks in 2023, surpassing all other states. This number is nearly 300,000 higher than Kentucky’s 3.6 million total checks. The figures highlight the significant demand for firearm purchases and ownership in Illinois, making it the leader in background checks nationwide.

According to Kirk, the mandatory eight-hour class that is being proposed in Illinois is a significant issue. He has observed a similar situation in other places, such as California, where the classes ultimately had to be certified by the state.

According to Kirk, the certification of state law enforcement determines the identity of instructors. However, this process is limited and excludes private companies. Kirk believes that this approach gives the government a monopoly on firearms training, ultimately disarming law-abiding citizens.

Illinois residents would be required to complete eight hours of mandatory training approved by the director of the Illinois State Police under HB3239, in order to purchase a firearm.

According to Kirk, this bill imposes a requirement that Illinois citizens must obtain government approval before exercising their fundamental rights. He believes that both HB3239 and the FOID card are likely to be invalidated by the Supreme Court of the United States.

According to the latest figures, there are 15 supporters and almost 1,800 opponents of the bill, as reported by Students Demand Action of Illinois.

Hirschauer asserts that gun violence is a public health epidemic on social media.

According to a social media post by Hirschauer, gun violence is a multifaceted public health and safety crisis that requires comprehensive policy solutions.

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