A new proposal being waded through the Illinois state legislature would require potential gun buyers to hand over their social media accounts for officials to check before the potential buyer would be issued a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
As the Western Journal reports, the idea originated with Democratic State Representative Daniel Didech of Buffalo Grove.
According to the report, Didech said some people who were responsible for mass shootings across the United States posted their intentions to social media ahead of carrying them out; so, as a result, all gun owners should be subject to the social media reviews.
“A lot of people who are having mental health issues will often post on their social media pages that they’re about to hurt themselves or others,” Didech said, per the report. “We need to give those people the help they need.”
Here’s more, from the Western Journal:
The bill, HB0888, “(a)mends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers’ social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account,” according to the online summary of the legislation.
The bill is currently pending in committee.
“It gives Illinois State Police additional tools to make sure that dangerous weapons aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people,” Didech said.
As the Western Journal reports, the bill immediately faced challenges by pro-gun groups and defenders of the First Amendment.
Speaking on the bill, Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association remarked: “When people look at this everyone who has a Facebook account or email account or Twitter account will be incensed or should be.”
Rebecca Glenberg of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois cautioned that the bill was vague in its intentions with a person’s social media account.
It “doesn’t say anything about how that list will be retained and for how long and what uses it might be put to,” Glenberg said. “A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a FOID card.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.