Privacy vs Security: Illinois Lawmakers Take Arms Against Fingerprint Requirement for Gun Ownership

Republican lawmakers are up in arms after Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly suggested that all people applying for Firearm Owners Identification card should enroll their fingerprints. Republican Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer said law enforcement was forced to operate in an ineffective program and did not have the capacity to process the current information within a reasonable timeframe. The representative indicated that the Democrats wanted to further complicate the situation.

The FOID applications have been subject to a lawsuit arising from the frustrations and the slow speed in processing the applications. The police department has been delaying many applications indefinitely without providing any explanations due to a lack of capacity to process them leaving the paperwork to rot in the dust. Gun rights groups have called this a defacto form of gun control.

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Rep. Davidsmeyer also pointed out that the Democrats were forcing police officers to take part in a political debate at the expense of doing their job as law enforcement officers.

“Director Kelly is acting at the direction of the governor, not the men and women of law-enforcement that he is there to represent. He is playing politics and doubling down to put an undue burden on law-abiding gun owners by requiring fingerprinting in Illinois. This is unacceptable,” Rep. Davidsmeyer said.

The state Senate passed Senate Bill 1966 that required applicants for Firearm Owner's Identification Card to include a full set of their fingerprints in an electronic format to the Department of State Police unless the applicants had previously provided the same under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. However, the bill requires fresh approval after the House introduced some amendments.

Not only does the fingerprinting requirement compromise on the information security of the applicant, but it also raises the application fees from $10 within ten years to $50 within five years. It is undoubtedly clear that the new fingerprint requirements would complicate the licensing process, leading to further delays.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.

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