SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To strengthen background checks for firearm purchases, state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, introduced a bill to require applicants to provide fingerprints when applying for a state license.
“Protecting our families from those who have a history of harming others requires us to take a hard look at the laws we have on the books and how we can improve them,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “Our communities deserve the peace of mind that our process for approving FOID cards is comprehensive and holds public safety as a priority.”
Gong-Gershowitz’s House Bill 3104 would require all individuals applying for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Illinois State Police. The fingerprints would then be checked against all available state and local criminal history record information files, including the Department of State Police database, FBI criminal history record databases, and records of juvenile adjudications.
Recently, a mass shooting in Aurora resulting in the deaths of five employees and wounded five police officers shined a light on loopholes in current state gun laws. Without submitting a fingerprint, the shooter was approved for a FOID card despite having a criminal history including a guilty plea to aggravated assault, which authorities say included him beating a former girlfriend with a bat and stabbing her with a knife. This conviction did not show up on the initial fingerprint-less background check. It was not until he later applied for a concealed carry license and submitted a fingerprint to expedite the process, the felony conviction showed up.
“Tragedy after tragedy signals that we must enact common sense gun safety legislation to prevent further needless suffering,” Gong-Gershowitz said. “Those who have a record of harming others should not be given the green light to purchase firearms and our laws should reflect our desire to keep our communities safe.”
Visit Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz’s website
265-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1812 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL 60025