Illinois Lawmakers Want to Fingerprint Gun Buyers

Illinois Lawmakers Want to Fingerprint Gun Buyers

Gun Rights

Background Checks Spurred by revelations that the gunman who killed five people at an Aurora manufacturing plant in February bought his weapon despite a prior felony conviction, Illinois Democrats are moving to extend the use of fingerprint background checks for prospective gun owners. That would close what state lawmakers and former federal law enforcement officials say is a loophole that could be allowing criminals to purchase firearms. Three bills filed in the Illinois General Assembly would require authorities to collect fingerprints from people applying for state gun licenses or, alternatively, allow people seeking a state Firearms Owner’s Identification card to provide their fingerprints to the Illinois State Police as part of their background checks. On February 15, Gary Martin, who’d just been laid off after 15 years at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, shot and killed five company employees, including a 21-year-old Northern Illinois University senior who was on the first day of an internship there, and wounded six others, including five police officers, before being killed in a shootout with police. The Illinois State Police later acknowledged that it had erroneously given Martin a state Firearms Owner’s Identification card in 2014 after a required background check, based solely on his name and birthdate, didn’t turn up anything that would disqualify him under the law from owning a gun. Mourners place a flower at the crosses outside of the Henry Pratt company in Aurora, Illinois. [Jeff Knox/AP] Later, though, Martin applied for a concealed carry permit and also […]

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