New law will require Illinois gun owners to report missing firearms to police. Gun owners attempting to sell will also need to notify authorities and run background checks on potential buyers. Obviously the law is designed to prevent illegal trafficking of firearms and to keep guns away from clearly-irresponsible people. It will prevent people who legally buy weapons from privately selling them to the unlicensed dealers.
California takes gun regulation a few steps further as the only state in the country that identifies people who are prohibited from having a gun and then sends agents out to knock on their door. This is expensive and time-consuming work, requiring hours of background checks and cross-referencing even before the agents hit the streets. Whether tighter regulations on guns is worth the effort remains under debate.
Is Gun Confiscation Always Worth the Effort?
The California system cross-references five databases in order to find people who legally purchased firearms and are now prohibited from owning them; then, armed agents visit homes to confiscate the registered firearms.
Tighter state gun laws like those in Illinois could simply push illegal transactions across state lines. It does at least require gun owners to be more responsible about keeping tabs on their guns. All the regulation, however, means more money from taxpayers to hire agents and power their headquarters.
Seizing illegal firearms is painstaking work. California officials collect names from court records, mental facilities, and lists of known or wanted criminals, then check against background checks being run for firearm purchases. Agents are sent to knock on doors. They may search houses of those on probation. This is a lot of work, even before the agents hit the streets. People aren’t always home, and firearms aren’t always found.
No Plans To Slow Down Gun Confiscation
Illinois joins seven other states and the District of Columbia in requiring missing gun reports. Thus far, however, no other state has adopted California’s gun seizure law. There is a bill in Congress to provide funds for other states to follow the California seizure model, however. California is spending $24 million to hire more confiscation agents. California’s gun seizure list of 20,000 names or so.