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Illinois House approves fingerprinting gun owners

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 14: A sales associate takes a gun from a display of shotguns at The Gun Store November 14, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Store manager Cliff Wilson said he's seen a large spike in sales since Barack Obama was elected president on November 4, with customers citing fears about the president-elect's record on firearms. The election, combined with a slumping economy, has contributed to an overall increase of 25-30 percent in gun sales at the store, Wilson said. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois gun owners will be fingerprinted and will pay more for firearm owner identification cards under legislation approved by the Illinois House.

The bill passed Wednesday is designed to address what Democratic Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison calls deficiencies in the state’s current Firearm Owner’s Identification system. She said the bill is a response to the shooting at an Aurora factory in February that left six dead, including the shooter. Gary Montez Martin obtained a FOID card even though he was a convicted felon and should not have been eligible for one.

In addition to fingerprinting, FOID cards would cost $20 and be valid for five years. Currently, cards cost $10 and are good for 10 years.

Republican Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield says supporters of the bill “are creating a police state” by asking for fingerprints that will be databased and possibly used for other purposes.

The bill must be approved by the Senate.

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