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Silverstein wants gun loophole closed to block felons from guns, permits

silverstein gunloophole 102616CHICAGO – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D‐Chicago) introduced a measure in the Senate this week to close a dangerous loophole allowing felons to receive FOID cards and concealed carry licenses in Illinois.

After a recent incident in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, a convicted felon involved in a self-defense shooting was discovered to have changed his identity and successfully received a FOID card and concealed carry permit when he applied under his new legal name.

“Fingerprints could have identified this man as a felon and disqualified him from owning a gun, but fingerprinting is not required in Illinois now to get a firearm owner’s identification card or concealed carry permit,” said Silverstein. “We must close this loophole and ensure permits are only issued to those proven to be legally eligible in a thorough background check with mandatory fingerprints.”

Illinois, the last state to enact concealed carry in 2013, allows an applicant to submit fingerprints to expedite the process but not as a requirement for each applicant. Silverstein’s proposal would require fingerprints be submitted for every application and checked against Department of Corrections records to ensure a felon doesn’t acquire a permit, by any name.

The Humboldt Park incident involved a man who was arrested when he returned fire in self-defense. After his arrest, authorities discovered he had a criminal record – including gun charges – under a different name. In the 15 years since his conviction and prison sentence, the man started a new life with a new name, becoming an EMT with a wife and children. But he had unlawfully acquired FOID and concealed carry cards under a new name.

“Right now we can’t know how many other felons may have used this same loophole or, of those who have used it, how many may be engaged in criminal activity,” Silverstein said. “I believe making fingerprints mandatory for a permit is an important measure to protect our community and not an undue burden on applicants or the Illinois State Police.”

Silverstein’s proposal, Senate Bill 3448, was filed today and may be considered when the General Assembly returns to Springfield for Veto Session.

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