Licensing has at least one upside, in that it offers a peek as to what gun ownership levels are really doing. The gun control groups have been consistently asserting that the Great Panic was entirely the result of a small handful of extremists stockpiling more guns. Well, the numbers coming out of Illinois would beg to differ:
Whereas a few years ago, 1.2 million Illinoisans held Firearm Owners Identification cards, the number has jumped to 1.6 million, state police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Soon after the court decreed in December that Illinois couldn’t ban public carry anymore, demand for FOID cards jumped precipitously.
That throws a lot of cold water on their theory. I also suspect that the spike in numbers is a result of Chicago residents now being able to exercise their constitutional rights. I’m not sure the article’s author gave much consideration to the fact that Chicago’s licensing regime was laid to waste by the new concealed carry law, making the FOID card the only barrier to entry for getting a handgun in the Windy City.