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Closing loopholes exploited by shooter

5/22/2019, 10:17 p.m.
State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is supporting legislation to improve background checks through the use of fingerprints and help the ...

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is supporting legislation to improve background checks through the use of fingerprints and help the Illinois State Police to process and follow up FOID revocations for felons following a tragic mass shooting in Aurora earlier this year.

"The people of Aurora faced a horrible shooting from a man who should not legally have had a gun," Connor said. "Twelve people are injured or dead because the shooter wasn't honest on his FOID application about his prior felony, and since there was no fingerprint check available to the State Police to check his statement, he was issued a FOID and legally purchased his firearm. The families of that community are carrying the weight of a broken legal system. We owe it to them to step up enforcement, and get deadly weapons out of the wrong hands."

Connor is supporting the Fix the FOID Act, also known as Senate Bill 1966, which bolsters Illinois gun safety laws to prevent violent criminals from obtaining a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. The changes include closing the gun show loophole which allows people to bypass background checks and requiring fingerprint submissions to get a FOID card. Connor's measure also streamlines the process of allowing law enforcement to seize the weapons of individuals who FOID cards have been revoked.

Workplace homicides have grown rapidly in the last ten years, and almost 80% were committed with a gun, often more than one-at-a-time. The Aurora shooting is currently the most deadly mass shooting of 2019, but there have been over 100 other similar incidents this year.

"Gun violence has become far too normal for this country, far too great a part of our everyday lives," Connor said. "It is past time for the specter of these terrible crimes to fade into distant memory, and enforcing robust FOID card laws will bring us closer to that goal."