straw pur·chase (noun)
a criminal act in which a person who is prohibited from buying firearms uses another person to buy a gun on their behalf.
Is anyone paying attention? After recording the fewest murders in decades last year, violence in Chicago is soaring. We have seen a 40% increase in shootings and 29% more homicides in the first three months of this year.[i]
Our violence problem is directly linked to the number of illegal guns available. We can’t stop the flow of illegal guns coming over our borders from states that do not require background checks (that’s the federal government’s job), but we can stop easy access to guns by preventing straw purchases here in Illinois.
We know that state and local regulation of gun dealers, coupled with regular compliance inspections are associated with significantly less trafficking of guns to criminals.[ii]
It is time to hold accountable straw purchasers, retail stores and irresponsible gun owners who arm criminals and young people.
Here are the facts:
Current federal regulations require gun dealers to be licensed, but lack of resources for oversight and enforcement has resulted in guns getting into the wrong hands far too often.
There are 2000 gun dealers in Illinois, but four of these sold more than 3000 of the guns recovered from crime scenes in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 alone.[iii] All other dealers combined sold a total of three guns to criminals in the same period. These guns get put in the wrong hands and our children and family members end up dead, caught in the gang crossfire in their backyards.
Here’s the solution:
State licensing of gun dealers and ammunition sellers (HB 3422/SB 1883)
The law would put into place some important safeguards.
- Pre-approval process for an initial license with renewal every 5 years
- All owners and their employees will undergo required background checks
- Inventory records and video recording of sales, and video security will be required to prevent theft and straw purchases
- Stores will be inspected twice per year and inventory records compared to actual stock
- Penalties for non-compliance can include loss of license, probation, fines up to $10,000 per violation and suspension
Sign the petition to pass this public safety measure before our state has a record-breaking year of shootings and homicides. Easy access to guns in Illinois is killing our children and devastating our communities. Illinois needs this law now.
STOP THE STRAW #STS
Sign the petition here.