Government Technology

Illinois Takes Action on Background Check Records After Virginia Tech



September 4, 2007 By

With Governor Blagojevich's signature last week, Illinois officially became the third state to require that all court records on prohibited purchasers will be shared with the National Instant Check System (NICS). Virginia's governor took executive action in April, and Missouri has passed a law similar to the Illinois bill.

"Loopholes that allow dangerous people to buy guns need to be closed quickly. Governor Blagojevich, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, State Senator Dan Kotowski, and State Representative Henry Osterman should be commended for leading the way in Illinois," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign. "We make it too easy in this country for dangerous people to get guns. We saw that at Virginia Tech, and we see it every day."

The bill, initiated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and sponsored by State Representative Henry Osterman and State Senator Dan Kotowski, passed both houses of the Illinois Legislature with strong bipartisan support earlier this year. It ensures that persons who are judged to be prohibited purchasers in the state of Illinois won't slip through the cracks of the National Instant Check System.

"There was an outpouring of support from victims of gun violence from all over Illinois to help get this bill passed," said Jennifer Bishop, Illinois field director for the Brady Campaign. "They are sure that this will help to prevent more people from falling victim to gun violence in the future."

A key committee of the United States Senate has recently endorsed a measure to close the loophole on the national level. That bill has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives.


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