To the Editor:
Require background checks for gun purchases? Illinois already requires a firearms owner ID card to buy ammunition (including mail order) or a gun. Illinois completes a background check – minimum 30 days before issue. Disqualifications include convictions for a felony, act of domestic violence, assault or battery within the past five years, being subject to an order of protection. Also checked are the Department of Human Services database to disqualify anyone adjudicated as a mental defective, or a patient of a mental institution within the past five years.
Illinois residents must have their FOID when outside their home, such as at a shooting range, hunting or transporting their firearms.
Buying a gun, you are checked again. When a firearm is sold by a Federal Firearms License holder or at a gun show, the seller performs a dial-up inquiry to the State Police! The police perform an automated search of several criminal and mental health databases, including the federal NICS database before approving.
The waiting period to take possession is 72 hours for a handgun, 24 hours for a rifle or shotgun. Private sales are allowed, and are subject to these same requirements. Illinois is very strict about revoking FOID cards after a crime.
Anti-gun groups want an FBI criminal background check before each gun purchase, including fingerprinting, mug shots and 90- to-180-day waits. Why? This is only to stop the law-abiding from buying a gun. We already have a background check system.