SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In the wake of a tragic mass shooting in suburban Aurora, state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet, is fighting to close the loopholes the shooter exploited to obtain guns.
“The Aurora community faced horrific violence last February,” Jones said. “Eleven families are now suffering because our laws were unable to keep guns out of the hands of a madman. The continued plague of gun violence, whether in the form of mass shootings, gang violence, domestic violence or suicide, symbolizes failure. We must honor those tragically taken from us by working to make sure the menace of gun violence does not continue.”
Jones is supporting the Fix the FOID Act, also known as House Bill 96, which strengthens numerous aspects of Illinois gun safety laws to ensure people with criminal backgrounds cannot obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. These changes include requiring a fingerprint submission to obtain a FOID card and closing the gun show loophole which allows private sellers to sell guns to people without a background check. The act also requires state police to seize any guns in the possession of FOID card holders who do not voluntarily turn over their card once it is revoked.
In 2018, almost 40,000 Americans died from a gunshot, along with 85,000 who were injured. Almost 3,000 children were shot and killed in 2018, and guns are about twice as deadly as cancer for an American teenager. The Aurora shooting is currently the most deadly mass shooting of 2019, but there have been over 100 other similar incidents this year already.
“Gun violence represents one of the greatest challenges confronting us today; however, I believe the solution is within our grasp,” Jones said. “This legislation will close loopholes in our Firearm Owner Identification card system, making it much easier for law enforcement to track down dangerous and unlawful gun owners before they commit tragic crimes like the one we witnessed in Aurora.”