Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Illinois State Police advance their civilian disarmament agenda

Once again, the Illinois State Police are demonstrating their desire to render as many Illinoisans defenseless as possible (the ISP, you may remember, is the same bunch that recommends a teasing brush or rattail comb, rather than a gun, for women to defend themselves against would-be rapists). This time, the target of their campaign of state-mandated helplessness is children. First, a bit of background is in order.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Illinois gun laws, I am deeply jealous--but I digress. To buy, own, or transport a gun (or even a single round of ammunition) in Illinois, one must have a state-mandated (and state-issued) Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. Here in Illinois, you see, we don't believe in any of that "shall not be infringed" nonsense. Surprisingly for Illinois, there is no minimum age requirement for FOID eligibility--this was illustrated last spring in this article, written by a man whose 11-month-old son had recently been issued one (the father did the paperwork, of course). I am honestly unsure about whether or not this article was written with an agenda--it almost seems to me that it was just intended to be a mildly amusing piece to fill some space when the author couldn't come up with anything more relevant. That changed with the follow-up article, written when the author discovered that a minor's possession of a FOID card constituted an exemption to the so-called "safe storage" laws in place in Illinois.

However, a good hiding spot, a gunlock and gun safe can all be avoided if parents get their kids FOID cards, Birch said. He even referenced the state law that allows for the exemption in his e-mail.

Again, I was suspicious.

I called Lt. Scott Compton of the Illinois State Police, who confirmed Birch's story. He pointed me to the legislation -- 720 ILCS 5/24-9.

Talk about a loophole.

FOID cards are meant to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, those convicted of domestic battery or domestic violence and anyone subject to an active Order of Protection.

You need to be a badass kid to break any of these laws by your 14th birthday. So, getting a FOID card should be no problem for most youngsters.

It seems silly to have a law requiring gun owners to use locks, safes and secret hiding places if all anyone needs to do is pay a $5 fee and complete an online form to circumvent the rule.
I've made no secret of my intense dislike of "safe-storage" laws--which have demonstrably helped psychopaths kill children (and yes, children have used guns to save their lives before).

That was rather a lot for just background, but I think that information is necessary to understand the significance of this email alert from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) (excerpt):
A proposal submitted by the Illinois State Police (ISP) to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) would effectively eliminate participation in shooting activities by anyone under 10 years of age. The proposal, which would establish minimum age requirements for obtaining an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID), comes in the wake of an irresponsibly biased feature article that had appeared in a south suburban newspaper. In the article, the feature writer spun a near-satirical yarn about how easily his newborn son, ‘Bubba’ was able to obtain a FOID. Reaction to the article amongst anti-gun/anti-hunting forces was predictably hysterical. In response, Gov. Blagojevich’s State Police issued a proposed change in the law which would set 10 years of age as the minimum age at which one could obtain a FOID.
The Illinois State Police cannot (thankfully) unilaterally make this change--they have submitted their proposal to Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR)--a body of legislators (from both chambers)--click on the link for names and contact information. These folks need to be contacted, and within the next few weeks. Also, we need to send (snail-mail) letters expressing opposition to this nitwittery to:

Mr. John M. Hosteny
Interim Chief Legal Counsel
Illinois State Police
801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S
Post Office Box 19461
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9461

We need to take the time to do this--remember, it's for the children

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