Gun control: Illinois law requiring background checks among ‘most stringent’

by Mark Guarino, Christian Science Monitor  |  published on August 23, 2013

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Private gun sales in Illinois now require background checks after Gov. Pat Quinn signed tough new legislation intended to close a federal loophole that prevented law enforcement from tracking who was buying guns on the street.

“Guns are a plague on too many of our communities.… This common-sense law will help our law enforcement crack down on crime and make our streets safe,” Governor Quinn, a Democrat, said in a statement released Sunday.

Under the new law, Illinois joins 17 other states and the District of Columbia in extending background checks to private sales.

But how these states carry out the checks differ. Some states, including Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, require the purchaser to obtain a permit before buying the gun from a private seller, a step that automatically forces a background check. Others, including Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina, require background checks, but only for handguns.

In some states, including Oregon and Nevada, background checks are voluntary.

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