Back in November, we reported on a bizarre loophole in Missouri and Illinois law that allows convicted felons to purchase firearm hunting permits -- despite a federal law that prohibits them from owning a firearm.
I know... kind of hard to figure that one out.
In Missouri, the Department of Conservation says there is no easy fix to the problem. There's also no pressure for Missouri Conservation to do anything in the first place... since the state legislature has no authority over Conservation policies and procedures.
Across the Mississippi, the Illinois general assembly does have control over the state's Department of Natural Resources. Which is why State Sen. John O. Jones promised me he would introduce legislation to close the loophole -- stopping felons from buying firearm hunting permits in his state.
State Sen. Jones kept his word and introduced Senate Bill 2562, which reads, in part:
Provides that no permit or license may be issued, for the taking with a firearm of wildlife protected under the Code, to any convicted felon, any person subject to an order of protection prohibiting him or her from possessing a firearm, any person convicted within the previous 5 years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, or violation of an order of protection in which a firearm was used or possessed, any person convicted of domestic battery on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act, any person convicted within the previous 5 years of domestic battery committed before the effective date of the amendatory Act, or any person not an adult who had been adjudicated a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony.
As you can see, State Sen. Jones' bill goes beyond basic felony convictions and folds in several other categories of bad actors.
The bill was passed out of committee and will go to the floor sometime in the next couple weeks. We will keep you posted.