Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Bubba Gets A Gun

Okay, I'm generally very much in favor of the right of American citizens to own weapons. I'm also in favor of "shall-issue" laws, intended to prevent local police from vetoing a gun-license application for arbitrary reasons.

But this is just silly.

10-month-old Howard "Bubba" Ludwig fondles
his Illinois Firearm-Owner Identification card.

So how did a 10-month-old toddler get a legal FOID? (And in Illinois?) His daddy filled out the form and sent in the $5 fee, that's how... and the Illinois State Police had no cause for denying it, since there isn't a lower age limit for FOIDs in Illinois. (I'll bet that will change because of this.)

As the article points out, the father had every expectation of getting a letter from the Illinois State Police: "Dear Father Of The Year, we do not issue gun licenses to infants". Nope -- if Bubba wants one, then Bubba can have one.

(The form is pretty straightforward, too -- basically one page of personal information. I note that Massachusetts prefers to err in the other direction: the equivalent form is four pages long, and must be accompanied by a Firearms Safety Certificate, a fingerprint card, two character references, and probably a cartridge in a pear tree. Sheesh.)

And yes, Bubba has a gun as well -- a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun, bought for him by proud Grandpa. (Don't worry, it's safely locked up in Grandpa's gun safe. Hopefully it will remain there for a few years. Even after Bubba learns to walk, a 12-gauge can have quite a kick to it.)

Interestingly, Illinois does appear to have an age restriction in place for buying some types of weapons -- you must be over 18 to purchase a long gun (e.g. rifle), and you must be over 21 to buy a handgun. But apparently, getting one as a gift is fine, so long as the recipient also has his FOID.

(Hat tip: my lovely wife, who thought I'd be amused by this. She was right.)



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