Illinois is trying to cut down on the number of illegal firearms that make their way across state lines by increasing penalties for gun traffickers.
The new law, which was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday, makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a state firearm owner’s identification card to bring guns into Illinois with the intent to sell them or deliver them to a third-party. Penalties will be even harsher for individuals who have been previously convicted on gun trafficking-related charges.
Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had different visions when it came to cutting down on gun violence in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois. The mayor had been pushing for new legislation that would have strengthened penalties for illegally using a weapon, but his plan stalled over opposing views throughout the state on guns and the root problems. Rauner said Manuel did not reach out to him about the legislation he signed on Tuesday.
“I’ve not discussed that issue with the mayor myself,” Rauner said after signing the bill. “Frankly, I’m talking with legislators all the time. They have not brought that issue up with me.”
New Gun Trafficking Law
The new law states that gun traffickers can get up to 15 or even 30 years in jail for illegally trafficking firearms. Under the old law, traffickers oftentimes faced lower-levels felonies that carried as little as a one-year sentence.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, who sponsored the gun trafficking bill, said the goal of the bill is to keep illegal guns from entering the state by really coming down hard on those who illegally bring guns across state lines.
“The laws of Illinois for many years have been more focused toward holding the shooter accountable but not the person who armed the shooter,” Durkin said. “And that changes today with the governor’s signature.”
The law also required anyone who sells a gun either commercially or privately to preform a background check on the buyer. You need a FOID card to buy guns or ammunition in Illinois, so this law helps cut down on individuals who would try to get around the FOID requirements by traveling to other states to purchase their weapons or ammunition.
“I believe very strongly in this bill,” said Gov. Rauner. “This bill is very good policy for Illinois.”