Illinois residents have many reasons for owning firearms. For some, owning a gun is about defending their home and family; for others, it is about participating in shooting sports like hunting.
When it comes time to purchase a gun, Illinois tends to have more hoops for potential purchasers to jump through. Now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching a strike force to add another layer in preventing gun trafficking.
Here’s what you should know about the DOJ’s plan and how it could impact Chicago residents.
Five targeted areas
When creating this strike force, the DOJ wanted to focus on areas that tend to be hubs for gun trafficking. The areas the strike forces will focus on will include:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Washington, D. C.
- San Francisco Bay Area
The hope is that by focusing on these areas, law enforcement officials can get ahead of the violent crime that these areas have experienced over the last 18 months. Many of the recent violent events have stemmed from people who were able to obtain guns illegally.
What it means for Illinois gun owners
The average gun owner in Illinois is not the target of the strike force. Instead, the strike force is a partnership between several layers of law enforcement to prevent illegal gun sales.
Often, people who are ineligible to purchase a weapon themselves will ask someone eligible to purchase it for them. In many cases, these “straw purchasers” will be inexperienced, so the strike force wants sellers to look for behaviors, such as:
- Purchasers with “helpers”
- Inexperienced purchasers buying several weapons
- Hurried purchasers
Although these behaviors could also be exhibited by someone nervous about their first purchase, it can also indicate that the seller should take a closer look before proceeding with the sale. Sellers who ignore these signs could face significant penalties, including losing their license to sell.