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Posted: 4/5/2001 3:25:55 PM EST
The Chicago Tribune
April 5, 2001


By Ray Long and Joe Biesk

SPRINGFIELD -- In a victory for Mayor Richard Daley, the House approved a bill Wednesday that would require gun dealers to do background checks of potential buyers at gun shows.

But the House defeated a Daley-backed bill that would have required Illinois State Police to set up a database on gun sales in the state. And the Senate beat down a proposal to let a person carry a concealed weapon in limited circumstances.

In a harried day of legislative action, the Senate approved legislation to protect abandoned babies, eliminate the sales tax on gas permanently and set up a review of firearms owner cards in response to the Navistar shootings.

Rep. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), the background check bill's sponsor, said the proposal would close a legal loophole that does not require a review of private transactions and would help battle illegal trafficking at gun shows.

Gun shows can be a source of weapons for people who do not have valid firearms owner identification cards because only federally licensed dealers are required to do background checks, Schoenberg said. The House sent the bill to the Senate on a 69-44 vote.

But opponents said the proposal would limit legal gun owners and collectors who want to lend their guns to friends or sell their pieces at gun shows.

The Daley-backed bill that lost on a 57-57 vote would have required state licensing of gun dealers and would have created a database to deter so-called straw purchases, where someone buys a gun legally and then illegally sells it to a person without a valid gun card.

The Senate, on a 29-27 roll call, came up one vote shy of passing the proposal that would have opened the door to letting Illinois citizens carry concealed weapons if they have obtained an order of protection. A person charged with unlawful use of a weapon could use the protection order as a defense in court, under the bill sponsored by Sen. Ed Petka (R-Plainfield). But Sen. Barack Obama (D-Chicago) argued the bill would use domestic disputes "as a Trojan Horse for the notion that concealed and carry is appropriate in our state."

The Senate also passed two bills inspired by the deadly shooting spree at Navistar International Corp.'s Melrose Park plant in February. One would require the State Police to run criminal background checks on firearms owner cards every six months instead of every five years. The other, backed by Atty. Gen. Jim Ryan, would tighten firearms owner identification cards card rules and use digital photos to make it tougher to buy a gun under a false identity.

In other action, senators revived and passed a plan to eliminate the state's 5 percent sales tax on gasoline, a proposal that has run into opposition in the House.

In response to a series of high-profile deaths of abandoned babies, the Senate passed a bill to give mothers a chance to relinquish newborns to safe havens, such as a hospital, without penalty and to allow for prompt adoptions.

In addition, senators approved a bill to create an income tax deduction for contributions to the state's Bright Star college savings program. Bright Star contributions would be deductible from the contributor's state taxable income. Donations of up to $10,000 would benefit from the tax break because of federal gift tax rules.

Link Posted: 4/7/2001 7:21:38 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/8/2001 10:37:32 AM EST
Boy I'm glad I don't live in the communist north east!
 I fear however that this crap is spreading. [>Q]
Link Posted: 4/8/2001 11:26:46 AM EST
Yeah Git5armac the problem seems to come from the fact thatevery year it freezes up there but come spring some of there brains  dont thawww ouut''..,,!!!!!
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