SB 67 would arm street gang members and al-Qaeda type terrorists in Illinois, USA
Contact: Richard Pearson
Illinois State Rifle Association
CHICAGO, Nov. 6, 2003 / U.S. Newswire / -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):
" An unprecedented threat to homeland security " is how the ISRA is characterizing a bill currently making its way through the Illinois General Assembly.
Senate Bill 67, sponsored by Miguel del Valle (D-2) and Iris Martinez (D-20), would require the Illinois Secretary of State to issue drivers' licenses to persons lacking Social Security Numbers (SSN) -- including undocumented aliens. According to the bill's sponsors, issuance of drivers' licenses to undocumented aliens would somehow make our roads safer.
Highway safety concerns aside, a very likely consequence of SB 67 would be the arming of street gang members and even al-Qaeda type terrorists. Once a person has acquired an Illinois driver's license, they may then apply for an Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. Possessors of FOID cards are allowed to purchase firearms from licensed firearm dealers.
A person's SSN is the key element in running criminal background checks. Absent the requirement for SSNs, Illinois driver's licenses and FOID cards would be issued to persons whose backgrounds are complete mysteries. Thus, if SB 67 were signed into law, Illinois streets would soon be flooded with criminals and terrorists who are not only mobile, but armed as well.
In an eleventh-hour attempt to save this politically sensitive bill, sponsors hastily drafted an amendment that would require the Secretary of State and the State Police to " do something " to keep undocumented aliens from acquiring FOID cards. Success of this quick-fix amendment relies essentially on the good faith of the FOID applicant and the diligence of two over-worked state agencies. The amendment is simply not enough close this gaping loophole in our homeland security efforts.
" SB 67 makes a mockery of legitimate efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists, " commented ISRA president Richard Pearson. " A better name for this bill would be 'The Drive-by Shooting Amnesty Act' because it hands car keys and gun cards to potential terrorists -- no questions asked. "
" The political motivations behind this bill are clear, " continued Pearson. " In its haste to pass a bill that appeals to certain interest groups, the General Assembly has overlooked the drastic consequences of issuing driver's licenses to persons whose backgrounds may be totally fabricated. "
" In light of SB 67's potential impact on the crime rate, we find the sponsor list very interesting, " said Pearson. " Less than a year ago, Senators del Valle and Martinez were pushing a bill that would force the confiscation of hunting shotguns and rifles from the state's sportsmen. Now, they're joining forces to push a bill that would arm people who sneak across our nation's borders for purposes known only to them. "
" In both principle and practice, SB 67 is a very bad bill, " continued Pearson. " We urge the Illinois Senate to defeat this bill. Should the bill reach Gov. Blagojevich's desk, we ask that he place homeland security before politics and veto this short-sighted piece of legislation. "