To the frustration of gun owners and lovers of the 2nd Amendment, the state of Illinois has become one of the few states to enact a harsh gun-control law that is based on the requirement for extended background checks. Democrat Governor Pat Quinn, the former Lieutenant Governor under disgraced and convicted former Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich, said that his state’s harsh new law was “common sense” and would help the police get tougher on crime.
The consequence of the law is that all private gun sales in the state now need background checks. This harsh new law was intended to close the federal loophole that stopped law enforcement officers from keeping tabs on who was actually purchasing guns from the streets.
Here’s how Illinois’ draconian new law will work when it goes into effect in January of 2014. Private gun sellers are now mandated to process transactions—be they face-to-face or over the Internet—by way of a licensed dealer or just a law enforcement agency. This will force a background check to occur prior to a firearm sale. To make this happen, the seller is obligated to verify if the buyer has a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card via a phone system run by the Illinois State Police. The Illinois State Police also will subject all gun applicants to pass mental health and criminal screenings.
While anti-gun ideologues are gloating at this small victory, proponents of the 2nd Amendment are quick to point out the self-defeating flaws in legislation like this or any other gun-control law. For starters, they say, gun-control laws that expand background checks utterly fail at reducing gun violence and preventing crime because criminals purchase their guns on the black market or just steal them. This argument is substantiated by Nicholas Johnson, a professor of law at Fordham University.
One would think that this is self-explanatory, but Democrats are fans of attempting to legislate human behavior, which is what leads to more ineffective laws that fail to satisfy their original intent.
Another problem for such expanded background checks in Illinois is that they give credence to conservative assertions that the government is attempting to build a national gun registry of sorts. Even though the Illinois law gives power to the Illinois State Police to run the phone verification system, it is not unfeasible to imagine that data eventually making its way to the federal government.
As such, Johnson says that it is doubtful that gun-control laws like this one will be anything close to being successful in stopping gun violence.
Quinn’s signing of the new law is just another salvo in the renewed gun-control shootout that has occurred since last year’s Newton, Connecticut, school shooting. While the Democrats are still smarting from the mid-April defeat of the Manchin-Toomey amendment in the U.S. Senate, this tougher gun-control law in Illinois represents a moral victory for gun-control ideologues.