- Published: Monday, April 01, 2013 08:46 AM
It’s not often that you find an 18-year-old still living at home, asking permission to take a date to the movies. That’s because we have designated 18 as the age that you officially become an adult. You are officially responsible for your own actions.
So why does it make sense to require an 18-year-old to get consent from a parent or legal guardian in order to obtain a FOID card? We don’t require an 18-year-old to get consent from a parent or legal guardian to purchase a car, a house or join the military. That is why I re-introduced legislation that would allow a citizen who is 18 years or older to apply for and obtain a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card without the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
I first introduced this measure back in 2005 during the 95th General Assembly and have re- introduced it every legislative session since. Every time I introduce the proposal, I think to myself, ‘this might be the year I finally get this sensible bill passed’. But, I’m always disappointed when the measure gets pushed into a committee, never to see the light of day – usually done by a Chicago politician who scoffs at the idea of allowing an 18-year-old to have a FOID card.
I haven’t introduced this bill every year to make a point to Chicago lawmakers. I haven’t introduced the bill to please gun enthusiasts or because I was asked by gun rights organizations. I introduced the measure because it’s ridiculous to think that at 18 years old, our country allows you to enlist in the army and hands you a firearm to defend yourself and your country. But heaven forbid we allow these brave men and women to obtain a FOID card in Illinois.
This is a common sense proposal.
Gaining knowledge and first-hand experience about how to properly handle a gun at a young age is vital to preventing accidents. Going to a shooting range and learning how to operate a firearm is a part of our upbringing here in Southern Illinois. I will continue to work to protect that right for our future generations. After a number of attempts to pass this proposal, I was able to advance it through the Senate in 2010. This success would not have been possible without the help of the many supporters who came to the Capitol to fight for the bill’s passage. Unfortunately, it did not get called for a vote in the House, but I will continue to push for this measure until it passes both houses is sent to the governor to become law.