Taking a pot shot at lawmakers over repealing gun owner IDs

Sample version of an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card.
Sample version of an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card. Provided

In 1968 Illinois started forcing gun owners to register the fact that they owned firearms. Illinois state Rep. Jerry Costello II wants to put the old law out of our misery.

Trouble is, there’s really no misery. The “burden” he describes is $10 every decade — $1 a year — to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

Yup, you need to wait at least a month for your first card to arrive. Yup, you need to have it with you to buy a gun or ammo in Illinois. Nope, Missouri requires nothing to buy or conceal a firearm.

But Illinois’ FOID is a device that screens for 22 possible reasons a person should not have a gun. No, it doesn’t stop criminals from getting guns, but it helps create a network that helps keep at least some of the angry people from irrevocable actions on impulse.

If they were just now asking to put the ID cards in place, there would be strong arguments against it. But because we’ve lived with it for nearly 50 years, we’d like to see some stronger arguments for eliminating it than it is a “burden” and it is Costello’s responsibility to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Maybe Costello and his 176 colleagues in the Illinois House and Senate could find some more pressing business? But, no, it seems they need a gun to their head before they’ll accept their responsibility to uphold the Illinois Constitution and pass a balanced budget.