Friday, March 27, 2015

Firearms Friday: FUBAR Laws (Chicago Edition)

This past week, everywhere I turned while walking the streets of Chicago I saw signs in the windows and on the doors stating that there were no firearms allowed. It was a rather disturbing sight as I felt a little uncomfortable knowing that the only people that would be carrying in those buildings are law enforcement and those who consciously decided to break the law. While I certainly have no problem with the former, it is the latter group that bothered me. After all, law abiding gun owners are not the problem facing this country, illegal firearms ownership is the issue and I seriously doubt that a sign would prevent them from walking through the door especially when they know that no one inside is armed.

Further, those residents in the state of Illinois have to deal with a myriad of other restrictions. Wikipedia actually does a pretty good job summarizing the hoops that law abiding gun owners must jump through both to purchase and to carry a firearm in the state (keep in mind that the city of Chicago is a whole different beast altogether):

To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant. Non-residents who may legally possess firearms in their home state are exempt from this requirement.

The state police issue permits for the concealed carry of handguns to qualified applicants age 21 or older who pass a 16-hour training course. However, any law enforcement agency can object to an individual being granted a permit "based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety". Objections are considered by a Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, which decides whether or not the permit will be issued, based on "a preponderance of the evidence". Permits issued by other states are not recognized. Open carry is prohibited in most areas. Without a concealed carry permit, a firearm must be unloaded and enclosed in a case when it is being transported.

There is a waiting period to take possession after purchasing a firearm — 72 hours for a handgun, or 24 hours for a rifle or shotgun. For private sales, the seller must verify the buyer's FOID card, and keep a record of the sale for at least 10 years. Lost or stolen guns must be reported to the police. Possession of automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, or suppressors is prohibited. Possession of short-barreled rifles is permitted only for those who have an ATF Curios and Relics license or are a member of a military reenactment group.

Illinois has state preemption only for certain areas of gun law, and some local governments have enacted ordinances that are more restrictive than those of the state.

It is no wonder why Chicago has such a low crime rate! Oh wait, that doesn’t quite add up now does it. Thankfully I am back in Pennsylvania where the laws remain reasonable (for the most part) and I don’t have to worry walking into many of the buildings that are around me. It is amazing what happens to the crime rate once you travel beyond the iron curtain of urban sprawl and the oppressive states that make up a shrinking portion of this country.