Criminals don’t bother with Illinois FOID cards when they get a gun

Is there any evidence that a deficiency in the state’s current firearm owner’s background check process is to blame for the senseless violence in Chicago?

SHARE Criminals don’t bother with Illinois FOID cards when they get a gun
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In this photo from June, 2020, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, at the podium, stands behind a table of guns confiscated by the police.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

A Sun-Times editorial earlier this week recited a parade of horribles that, unfortunately, are familiar to many Chicagoans: 

“A man shot during a carjacking after changing a tire for a mother and her little children. A 15-year-old rapper gunned down. An 86-year-old woman shot in the foot while watering her lawn. A 16-year-old girl shot while sitting in a car. A couple shot at a stop sign. People shot on the expressways. Drive-by shootings.” 

Who in their right mind doesn’t want something done about it? 

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be approximately 350 words or less.

But how many of those shootings were perpetrated by holders of state firearm owners identification cards — FOID cards — in the first place? And how many of the firearms involved in those shootings were transferred legally through a process, already in place in Illilnois, that is one of the most robust in the nation? The Sun-Times editorial board would do well to find out before touting what may very well be a solution in search of a problem. 

The editorial highlights a bill pending in Springfield, the so-called BIO bill, that would impose a fingerprint requirement on FOID applicants. Is there any evidence of a deficiency in the current FOID background check process that is leading to the senseless violence in Chicago? I doubt it. 

The editorial also highlights the BIO bill’s imposition of new firearm transfer requirements. Is there evidence that the Chicagoans who trade in illegal arms will adhere to those new transfer requirements? I doubt that too.

I agree; something must be done. But those who believe in the BIO bill must think that the gun criminals of Chicago are FOID cardholders and similarly must pray that they will adhere new transfer restrictions.

Ari Weiner, Downtown

Worry about the big stuff

Forty-eight people were shot in Chicago last weekend and yet our aldermen feel that renaming Lake Shore Drive is a priority. When are they going to realize they were elected to solve the real problems in our city, not to make themselves feel good by passing a meaningless ordinance that will have no effect on our city’s soaring crime rate? When are they going to get a clue?

Mike Kirchberg, Little Italy

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