Illinois’ Gov. Quinn Signs So Called ‘Universal Background Check’ Law

Universal Background Check
Illinois’ Gov. Quinn Signs HB1189, So Called ‘Universal Background Check’ Law

Illinois –-( Gov. Quinn signed HB1189 into law over the weekend. IllinoisCarry and the Illinois State Rifle Association both opposed this bill.

It passed the IL Senate and House chambers back on May 31st 2013, the same day the concealed carry law was passed.

HB1189 was overshadowed in the media by all the coverage given to concealed carry.

Some are calling it a Universal Background Check but it is actually a verifying validation of FOID cards for private sales.

Here in Illinois we must have a valid FOID card to purchase ammunition or firearms – and we must present our FOID card when making such a purchase. Up until now, only FFL dealers could check to verify if a FOID card is valid. This law makes a provision for private individuals, who are selling or transferring a firearm, to verify the buyer’s FOID card is valid. There is no requirement to provide make, mode, serial number, or quantity.

The law offers civil immunity for the seller if they use the verification process – but there are no criminal or petty offense charges if you do not do the check. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014 when the Illinois State Police should have a phone-in system in place and they have until July 1, 2015 to provide an internet-based system for checking the cards.

The slippery slope here is that it’s a toe in the door and we will need to keep a close watch in the future to prevent criminal penalties or fees from being added.

Lost or Stolen provision – the new law says gun owners will have 72 hours after “obtaining knowledge” of the loss or theft to file a report with local law enforcement. The burden will be on the state to prove when a gun owner obtained knowledge of a lost or stolen firearm.

A person who violates this Section is guilty of a petty offense for a first violation. A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor. This law is another feel good measure aimed at straw purchasers who, when crime guns are traced back to them, simply say the gun was lost or stolen.

Straw purchases are already a federal offense and if IL would simply prosecute under those statutes they would be far more effective at reducing illegal sales than these feel-good measures.

The IllinoisCarry forum was started in April 2004. The idea was that Illinois needed a central location to communicate ideas and information regarding 2nd Amendment issues in Illinois. There are many organizations in Illinois working to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights. Working with these groups IllinoisCarry has become the central location for information and Action Alerts. IllinoisCarry will not endorse political candidates. We simply provide information so voters can make informed decisions. Our goal is to join the other 48 states that allow their citizens to carry concealed firearms. We encourage you to register on our forum and join the fight for your 2nd Amendment Rights in Illinois. Visit

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Anson E. Long

Every time I see “Universal Background Check,” I think: “Universal term limits.”