Despite Illinois having nearly four million background checks done on gun-owning residents in 2023, Illinoisans who want to buy a firearm would have to undergo state-approved training and three background checks if a proposed bill makes it across the finish line.

A Second Amendment advocate says this latest gun restriction bill is a tactic to keep firearms out of law-abiding citizens’ hands. House Bill 3239, sponsored by state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, would obligate Illinoisans who want to buy a gun to undergo eight hours of training and other requirements.

Illinois Has Extensive Background Checks for Gun Purchases

Illinoisans who want to purchase firearms already undergo rigorous background checks, so the proposed legislation requiring additional checks is unnecessary.

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According to William Kirk, president of Washington Gun Law, residents must undergo a background check to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification card, which is required to own firearms in Illinois.

FOID Card Background Checks

To obtain a FOID card, Illinoisans submit an application with personal information to the Illinois State Police, who conduct a background check.

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Applicants must provide a government-issued photo ID and consent to a search of their criminal, mental health, and other records. The ISP reviews each application before issuing a FOID card.

Background Checks for Each Firearm Purchase

In addition to the FOID card background check, Kirk explains that Illinoisans must undergo a federal background check through an FBI database for each firearm purchase from a licensed dealer.

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This involves providing a government-issued photo ID and completing paperwork for the dealer to submit to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The New Bill Requires Triple Background Checks for Firearm Purchases

The new bill aims to strengthen gun control laws in Illinois by requiring residents to undergo extensive background checks and training before being allowed to purchase firearms.

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According to gun law expert William Kirk, the bill would mandate Illinoisans wanting to buy a gun to first obtain a “permission slip” from their local law enforcement agency by going through a background check with fingerprinting.

New Gun Bill Stringent Requirements

Once the slip is issued, which is valid for 180 days, the resident will have to provide it to a licensed firearms dealer to purchase a single firearm.

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In addition, they would still need to pass the standard background check required for all gun sales and have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.

Mandatory 8-Hour Training Required Before Buying a Gun in Illinois Under Proposed Law

The new legislation in Illinois would require residents to complete an 8-hour training course before being allowed to purchase a firearm.

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Critics argue it creates an unnecessary burden for law-abiding citizens who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Gun Rights Advocates Argue New Law Infringes on 2nd Amendment Rights.

Gun rights advocates argue that House Bill 3239 infringes on residents’ 2nd Amendment rights by creating unnecessary obstacles to purchasing firearms.

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According to William Kirk, president of Washington Gun Law, the bill is a tactic to discourage law-abiding citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

How Illinois Compares to Other States in Background Checks

According to FBI data, Illinois conducts more firearm background checks than any other state. In 2023 alone, nearly four million checks were performed on Illinois residents looking to obtain a gun.

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To purchase a firearm in Illinois, residents must first obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card by passing a background check.

Critics Argue Additional Requirements Are Unnecessary

With Illinois already conducting more background checks than any other state, critics argue additional requirements like those in House Bill 3239 are unnecessary and overly burdensome on lawful gun owners.

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“Illinois residents will have to go through a background check, to get a background check to get a background check,” Kirk said.

Concerns Over Increasing Barriers to Legal Gun Ownership

The proposed legislation aiming to mandate Illinois gun owners to undergo additional background checks and training has raised concerns over creating more barriers for lawful citizens to obtain firearms.

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According to William Kirk, president of Washington Gun Law, the bill would require residents wanting to purchase a gun first to obtain permission from local law enforcement.

What Supporters Say About the New Gun Law

Supporters of the legislation say it would help curb gun violence in Illinois by putting more restrictions on purchasing firearms.

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They argue the additional background checks and mandatory training are common-sense measures that do not infringe on lawful gun owners’ rights.

Keeping Guns Out of The Wrong Hands

“This bill will save lives by helping to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” said Rep. Hirschauer. “Requiring gun safety training and an additional background check will help ensure that only responsible, law-abiding citizens can purchase firearms.”

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Supporters point out that Illinois already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. They say adding another background check and training requirements is a reasonable next step.

New Bill Just Adds Over Sight To Reduce Gun Violence

“This legislation in no way prevents lawful gun owners from exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said John Thompson, head of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

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“It simply adds some needed oversight to help reduce violence in our communities while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners.”

The New Bill Is Set To Restrict Gun Ownership

With nearly 4 million checks done in 2023 alone, many feel the bill attempts to restrict law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

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The mandated 8-hour training presents a significant barrier as well. While proponents feel the bill improves safety, opponents see it as an undue burden limiting firearm access.