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Illinois passes gun law requiring citizen sellers to do background checks

- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2013

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new gun control measure into law on Sunday that mandates all owners — even private citizens — perform background checks on potential buyers before finalizing weapons sales.

The new law also stipulates that gun owners have to tell police within 72 hours if their firearms are stolen, The Associated Press reported.

The background check change is significant. Under the former law, those age 18 or older only had to submit to background checks if the purchases were made at gun shows or at gun shops.

"Guns are a plague on too many of our communities," said the governor, AP reported. "Making sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands is critical to keeping the people of Illinois safe. This common-sense law will help our law enforcement crack down on crime and make our streets safer."

Illinois law also required those who want to buy guns to obtain a firearm owners identification card, or FOID, from the state police. The card is a stamp of approval that the holder has successfully passed a state criminal and mental health screening.

The new law means that sellers — even private citizens — will have to call into a hotline to make sure the potential buyer's FOID is up to date and valid.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1.

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