Illinois law targets gun traffickers in new effort to curb violence

In an effort to curb the number of deaths occurring in their state due to gun violence, Illinois legislators are cracking down on people who illegally sell firearms. Signed into law this summer, HB 6303 makes it a felony for a person who has not been issued a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card to bring guns into Illinois with the intent of selling or delivering them.

Between 2009 and 2013, almost 60 percent of guns used to commit crimes in Chicago were first purchased outside of Illinois. Indiana is the largest out-of-state source. The bill’s sponsor, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, told the Chicago Tribune that gun trafficking will now be punishable by as much as 15 to 30 years in prison. This isn’t the first time that Illinois lawmakers have targeted so-called “straw purchases,” which provide a means for criminals to evade a state’s gun control laws and get their hands on firearms. Three years ago, the state began requiring gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm. The goal of this law is to help law enforcement identify straw purchasers.

In 2014, the U.S. death rate from firearms (homicides, suicides and unintentional deaths) was 10.2 per 100,000 residents. In the Midwest, the rate ranged from a high of 12.3 in Indiana to a low of 6.6 in Minnesota.

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Stateline Midwest: October 20161.95 MB