1 year after Illinois shooting, police push gun-fee hike

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — In the year since five workers died in a suburban Chicago warehouse shooting, state officials have beefed up illegal firearms enforcement efforts, including the first-ever operations by state authorities to confiscate weapons from those whose gun permits are invalid, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly said Thursday. Kelly’s briefing at the state Capitol to commemorate the Feb. 15, 2019 shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. also came with an alert: Increased vigilance of illegal gun possession comes with a price that exceeds current spending. He advocated legislation pending in the Senate that would increase the Firearm Owner’s Identification card fee and require fingerprinting of gun owners, a measure bitterly opposed by gun-rights advocates. “We will be able to do a much more thorough, effective and quicker background check, even for law-abiding citizens, if we have that fingerprint,” Kelly said. “Now, as to the constitutionality and the policy and the politics of all that, that’s … an issue that citizens and policymakers and others will debate.” Five Henry Pratt employees died and five responding police officers were injured when 45-year-old Gary Martin opened fired a year ago in the warehouse just after he was told that he was fired from is workplace of 15 years. Martin should not been allowed to have a gun. He was convicted in 1995 of felony aggravated battery in Mississippi, prohibiting his gun ownership. But the conviction was not included on key national databases and Martin obtained the handgun he used […]

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