Illinois Gov to close gun show loophole, maintain database of gun buyers
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will sign legislation today requiring background checks for all gun buyers, closing what law enforcement advocates see as a back door for illegal purchases of firearms.
I strongly support full background checks for all individuals interested in owning a firearm. Each state should have clear guidelines on who is eligible to purchase a firearm and each gun owner should be required to register his/her gun with the states. With current technology, the waiting period that an individual must endure can and should be reduced. A background check is not an overly burdensome violation of privacy rights for the purchase of a firearm.
A second bill, which Gov. Blagojevich plans to veto, will allow the state to maintain, indefinitely, a state database that contains records of all gun purchases in the state.
On this issue, I share the concern of the NRA (never thought I’d write that phrase) that the maintenance of a state database with information on all gun purchases infringes on the privacy rights of legal gun owners. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and others have long campaigned for a bill to allow the state to maintain this data in an effort to prevent gun runners and gangs from purchasing weapons. However, an effort to prevent a few individuals from purchasing a quantity of firearms is not a compelling reason to maintain a database of all background checks.
Neither proposal is going to keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. Closing the gun show loophole will help to keep guns away from gangs and dealers. However, in maintaining, indefinitely, a database on all gun purchases, the state is overstepping its authority and infringing upon the rights of law abiding citizens.