01 March 2019

Property rights v. Safety

So the mope who killed five co-workers and wounded four police officers, briefly had an Illinois Firearms Owner ID (FOID for short.) His FOID was revoked when he submitted finger prints in an application for a Concealed Carry Permit (CCP.) In Illinois, we recognize that some people might want to own or use firearms but not carry a weapon in our clothes, purse, etc, so the two, ownership and concealed carry, are separated.

In investigating the CCP application, the State Police found a felony conviction. When he was rejected for the CCP he also was told his FOID was revoked.

Now when a revocation issues, the person is told they have a short period: 48 hours, to dispose of any firearms they own, and return the card to the State Police. The letter notes that they cannot transfer guns to someone who does not have a FOID, and that they may take unloaded firearms to a police station to surrender them.

The DuPage County Sheriff's office has announced they will be enforcing the 48 hour rule. What could possibly go wrong? Lots! First, I am not the only FOID holder who does not own a firearm. There can be any number of reasons for this. I rent guns for range shooting, it is simply easier that transporting guns, storing them in a safe and secure way, and having them around the house. So I can easily see some wasted effort for deputies chasing guns that simply do not exist. Beyond that, a revoked gun owner has some options, selling them to a friend, family member, or putting them on consignment in a gun shop are all possibilities. And as the putative guns are the revoked owner's property, I can see again a lot of wasted chasing. When a person owns a gun and does not obey the law, the deputies may be in some danger.

I am not suggesting here the law should not be enforced. I am saying that some caution and preparedness might be a good idea. This needs to be handled carefully; especially as a person whose FOID has been revoked may have anger issues. I want the law enforced, but I do not want any injured deputies. As the king said in the King and I: it is a puzzlement.

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