firearms

Jared Smith / Communications Dir. for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives staged a Sit-In on the House floor Wed. demanding measures on gun control, more than a week after the deadliest shooting in the U.S.

Their seated protest comes days after four pieces of gun control legislation were blocked in the Senate Mon. 

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17th District) was among several Illinois representatives sitting on the carpeted chamber floor, in front of the Republican House Speaker’s empty podium.

Bustos called the proposals “common sense” measures that are long overdue.

President Barack Obama is continuing to make his case that more needs to be done to curb gun violence. This week he outlined a series of executive steps that includes broader background checks. Gun-friendly states like Indiana have long resisted those measures. But some gun owners there agree more could be done. Illinois Public Radio's Michael Puente reports.

One of the executive actions President Obama is pushing would tighten the so-called “gun show loophole.” That’s where private sellers are not required to conduct a background check.

     OBAMA: Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the internet or at a gun show.

Gun shows are big business in the Hoosier state. You can find one happening nearly every month in Northwest Indiana. Crown Point hosted one in December at the Lake County Fairgrounds. That’s where I run into Nick, a Schererville resident who declined to give his last name.

     MIKE: Do these gun shows get a bad rap? Some say it's easier to get guns here.

     NICK: Here’s why it’s easier. You have actually people from gun shops who have tables in there. They have your form that you fill out for the ATF and they call in your background check to the NCIS immediately. The only way to get it without is if it’s a private seller. That’s your loophole.

Nick isn’t sure closing that loophole will make much of a difference.

     NICKLook at the gangbangers in Chicago. Do you think they all have carry cards? No. We need more laws? No you don’t. You need to enforce the laws you have.

But those in favor of universal background checks say that law doesn’t exist.

     BUNCICH: There are individuals at these gun shows that are skirting the law. They are called private dealers.

That’s John Buncich, the sheriff of Lake County. His office is just down the road from the gun show.

     BUNCICH: And also, what we found is that in the parking lots of a lot of these gun shows, individuals will conduct illegal sales.

Law enforcement officials say many of those guns end up on the streets of Chicago and contribute to violence.

Illinois authorities are urging hunters to be safe as firearm deer-hunting season gets underway.  The seven-day season starts Friday for a three-day period. A final four-day period starts Dec. 3.  Hunting hours will be from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

An Illinois man is ordered to spend two decades in federal prison for helping steal assault-style rifles and other guns from a store in an alleged plot to sell them to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

An Illinois parolee faces up to two decades in federal prison after admitting in court he helped steal assault-style rifles and other firearms from a store in what authorities say was his plot to sell them to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

NRA against IL gun restrictions

May 6, 2013