Home » New Illinois Bill Proposes Triple-Check Gun Purchase Protocol, Stirring Second Amendment Concerns

New Illinois Bill Proposes Triple-Check Gun Purchase Protocol, Stirring Second Amendment Concerns

by Richard A Reagan

Illinois is considering a bill that would significantly alter the process for purchasing firearms within the state. [Source]

House Bill 3239, championed by state Representative Maura Hirschauer (D-Batavia), proposes a triple background check system alongside mandatory state-approved training for prospective gun buyers.

This legislation emerges against the backdrop of Illinois performing nearly four million background checks on gun-owning residents in 2023, highlighting the state’s rigorous approach to gun ownership.

The proposed bill mandates that Illinoisans looking to buy a firearm must first undergo eight hours of training and satisfy several other requirements before making their purchase. 

Hirschauer’s office confirmed that while the bill is currently with the House Judiciary Criminal Committee, it will not be called for discussion this week.

Critics of the bill, such as William Kirk, president of Washington Gun Law, argue that the legislation is an overreach designed to impede law-abiding citizens from acquiring firearms.

Kirk outlines the cumbersome process outlined by HB3239: “Residents who want to purchase a firearm would have to go to their local law enforcement department and undergo a background check with fingerprinting… it’s like a punch-card, you get to buy one per permission slip.”

The process for obtaining a firearm in Illinois is already considered one of the most stringent in the country. This is partly due to the requirement for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which over 2.4 million Illinois residents currently hold. [Source]

With this new bill, Kirk believes the state is adding unnecessary layers of bureaucracy: “Illinois residents will have to go through a background check, to get a background check to get a background check,” he remarked.

Illinois’s extensive use of background checks is evident in the Federal Bureau of Investigations firearm background check data, with the state leading the nation in the number of checks conducted in 2023. 

The introduction of an additional mandatory eight-hour class, as required by the proposed legislation, has been criticized by Kirk and others as a tactic to further control and limit firearm ownership.

According to Kirk, this approach mirrors measures seen in other jurisdictions like California, where the state exercises considerable control over the certification of instructors, thereby limiting the availability and accessibility of required training.

House Bill 3239 not only requires triple background checks but also insists on training approved by the director of the Illinois State Police.

This, Kirk argues, represents a governmental overstep into citizens’ rights to bear arms, suggesting that such measures might not withstand scrutiny by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Despite the backlash, the bill has its supporters, including Students Demand Action of Illinois, who view it as a necessary step in addressing gun violence, which state Rep. Hirschauer has called “a complex public health and safety crisis.”

With 15 proponents and nearly 1,800 opponents, the debate around HB3239 reflects the broader national conversation on gun control and Second Amendment rights.

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