In the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research has issued a new report, “Policies to Reduce Gun Violence in Illinois: Research, Policy Analysis, and Recommendations,” that identifies weaknesses or gaps in current Illinois law and offers recommendations to help prevent future tragedies.
The individual who shot and killed five people last week in Aurora was reportedly prohibited from owning a firearm. According to media reports, this discovery was made when he applied for a concealed carry permit, which requires fingerprinting. Because of the fingerprint, state officials were able to discover the prohibiting condition. He previously passed a background check and was approved for his FOID card despite having a felony conviction; that application does not require fingerprinting.
Illinois law does not require law enforcement to remove firearms when gun owners are identified as prohibited after a FOID card has been issued. The report recommends that if individuals are identified as prohibited and fail to surrender their FOID and/or firearms upon notice of revocation, law enforcement should dispossess these prohibited individuals of their firearms. It is one of 10 policy recommendations that could reduce the number of people killed each year by gun violence in Illinois.
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Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.