‘It is a right that has responsibilities. There has to be restrictions on it…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Illinois state House narrowly passed a bill on Wednesday that would require law-abiding residents to be fingerprinted before obtaining a firearm license.
The bill, passed by a 62–52 vote, led to three hours of heated debate on the House floor.
Besides the fingerprint requirement, the legislation would also create a task force with the sole purpose of rounding up and confiscating firearms from citizens whose gun licenses have been revoked.
The Illinois Rifle Association slammed the bill and vowed to take it to court, calling it “one of the most onerous regulations for gun owners.”
The bill is an attempt to solve the state’s exorbitant gun-violence epidemic, based largely around Chicago, where draconian regulations already are technically in place.
State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, said the legislation isn’t asking much when weighed against the safety of entire communities.
“I don’t want to see this happen anywhere else in Illinois,” Hernandez told the Chicago Tribune, referring to the Aurora shooter who opened fire at the Henry Pratt Co. warehouse on Feb. 15, killing five co-workers and wounding five officers.
The shooter was able to buy a gun despite his criminal history.
“It was really heartbreaking to see in Aurora, and to see the community broken because of one man’s actions and the families left behind,” Hernandez said.
Republicans argued that the fault lies with the broken background check system, not with law-abiding owners. This bill, they said, would criminalize the latter.
Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey called the bill “a total and complete infringement of the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.”
Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Willis, a sponsor of the bill, said she was “thrilled” that the bill passed and that although gun ownership is a right, it’s one that should be restricted.
“It is a right that has responsibilities,” she said. “There has to be restrictions on it.”