Illinois Governor Signs Bill Criminalizing Private Gun Sales

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation on Aug. 2 that criminalizes the private selling of a gun without having the buyer go through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) prior to the sale.

“Prior to this change, people with dangerous histories who shouldn’t possess a weapon—and the Illinois State Police denies firearm licenses to thousands of these individuals a year—could avoid detection through a private sale. That’s a deadly loophole, and in Illinois, we are closing that down for good,” said Pritzker, who is a Democrat.

The legislation takes effect in 2024.

However, it isn’t clear if the law will reduce gun-related crimes, homicides, and shootings—which have surged in major metropolitan areas. Conservative lawmakers have said that gun control won’t decrease the number of murders or shootings, while they have pointed to a sharp rise in anti-police animus that erupted last summer following George Floyd’s death.

Chicago, a city that’s suffered an epidemic of shootings and homicides for years, employs even stricter gun laws than the state of Illinois, including laws that ban the possession of certain semi-automatic firearms that the city defines as assault weapons and certain firearms accessories.- READ MORE