Lawmaker on shooting: We want to find out about prevention

Original piece written for WAND 17 on 2/19/19
Link to original article can be found HERE

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – State leaders said they are reviewing exactly how the Aurora warehouse shooter got his FOID card.

It’s been reported 45-year-old Gary Martin’s card was revoked in 2014, after authorities found out he was convicted of a 1995 crime in Mississippi.

There are two bills that have been introduced that would issue more rules and restrictions to getting a FOID card. Rep. Jonathan Carroll, who sponsors both of them, said lawmakers want to find ways to prevent another mass shooting.

“We want to find out about prevention, not palliative care,” Carroll said.

Carroll sponsors House Bills 888 and 887. H.B. 888 would amend the FOID card law and have the applicant add their social media accounts as part of the background check.

“We want to make sure that we make the process as thorough as possible, to keep guns in the hands of those who understand them, respect them and use them properly,” Carroll said.

Recent reports show the 45-year-old wasn’t convicted of a crime while applying for a FOID card in 2014. He was still holding a gun after his card was revoked and a letter was sent to turn it in. Carroll said it appeared (through statements from the Illinois State Police and local authorities) that there might have been some missed steps. He said it is important to continue to have a discussion about gun violence and reform.

“The members of the general assembly recognize that there is a problem with gun violence and we’re trying to do everything we can do to make sure the citizens of Illinois are safe,” Carroll said.

House Bills 888 and 887 were recently pushed to the Firearms and Firearm Safety Subcommittee. WAND News reached out to a sub-chairperson to talk about the situation, but has not heard a response.

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