State Representative Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) says the action this week in the Illinois House approving a so-called “FOID Card FIX,” will make the cost of owning a firearm more expensive and a more difficult enterprise for honest citizens to do. Senate Bill 1966 increases the cost of obtaining or renewing a FOID card to $20 every five years (currently $10 every 10 years) and requires fingerprinting in order to legally obtain a FOID card and $30 of the cost of fingerprinting falls on the person trying to own a gun.

Rep. Wilhour issued the following statement on SB 1966:

“If you check the Accurate Biometrics website, the largest fingerprinting company in Illinois, one of the requirements is that the person provide a photo identification. There are many legislators who believe that showing a photo ID to vote is too onerous a requirement to exercise their right to vote but apparently these same legislators have no problems with requiring gun owners to not only show a photo ID but have their fingerprints taken at their expense.

"Why should honest gun owners have to jump through these kinds of hoops just to exercise their Constitutional rights? We can’t pick and choose which parts of the Constitution we will uphold. The right to bear arms is a basic right of every American, and it is part of our Constitution.

The truth is nothing in this bill will address the fundamental problems of gun violence in America. This legislation was crafted as a response to the shooting in Aurora. The shooter in that incident was given a FOID card despite having a felony on his record. The felony was discovered when he applied for a concealed carry permit and was ordered to surrender his firearms, which he did not do. Everything he did violated existing law. So, our response is to create more laws that won’t be enforced?

As a society, we have long had firearms in this country. We need to be asking why these mass shootings are happening. This ultimately is an issue of mental health and the lure of fame that is such a big part of today’s social media culture. But we are not asking why these shootings are happening. Instead, the knee jerk reaction is to punish honest people for the crimes of others.

This legislation won’t do a thing to reduce gun violence, but it will make life more difficult for honest citizens. Today is indeed a sad day in Illinois. I urge everyone to call their Senators and tell them to oppose SB 1966."

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