Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law making it a crime to sell a gun privately without the buyer passing a background check in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The legislation, which was signed Monday, takes effect in 2024.
Prtizker described private sales as a "deadly loophole," which he aimed to close for good, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Prior to this "people with dangerous histories" could avoid detection through a private sale, the governor said.
The law will expand retail point-of-sale background checks to include private point-of-sale, too, and will criminalize an individual who sells a revolver to a friend, unless that friend undergoes an FBI-conducted NICS check.
This law may not prevent criminals from obtaining guns, however. California, for example, has universal background checks, yet South Los Angeles saw shooting victims surge 742 percent during the first 16 days of 2021. And Colorado has universal background checks, but a Boulder gunman acquired a firearm despite background checks and was able to kill 10 people in a grocery store, in a mass shooting on March 22, 2021.
A University of Chicago Crime Lab report showed that inmates locked up for gun crimes avoid getting their firearms from sources that require background checks, according to Breitbart News.
Furthermore, other notable mass shootings have occurred by gunmen who obtained their weapons with background checks, including shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a Texas church, a Las Vegas concert, UCLA, and a Lafayette movie theater, among many other massacres where the assailant passed a background check.
The nonprofit RAND corporation released several studies that estimated the effects of background checks on mass shootings or school shootings, and concluded that there is inconclusive evidence for the effect of background checcks on mass shootings.
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