In regards to Kevin Gagen’s letter of Jan. 21: Kevin, I don’t know about the other 49 states, but you had better check Illinois’ laws before you comment on something like buying a gun.
In Illinois, in order to buy a firearm or ammunition from a gun dealer, one must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police after an investigation. That investigation can include checking with the person’s local police department. If that department objects to issuing the card, there’s a procedure to request further review. The FOID card is required to own any firearm and can/will be taken away from the holder if he/she is arrested for any number of criminal actions. If the card is taken away, all firearms owned can be confiscated. Gun dealers themselves must be licensed by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Division of the U.S. Justice Department.
As far as private sales are concerned, there is no way to control them, but if the seller is smart, he/she will check to make sure the buyer has a FOID card.
Regarding product liability, a gun manufacturer has the same liability requirements as a vehicle manufacturer. If someone uses a vehicle to commit a crime, is the vehicle manufacturer responsible? No. In fact, in most cases, not even the dealer who sold it is responsible. If the gun dealer has followed the law when selling the firearm, he is not responsible beyond that point. If he is not responsible, the manufacturer cannot be held responsible.
Bob Walter, Glen Carbon