Illinois lawmakers propose bill to ban animal abusers from owning guns

Illinois lawmakers are pushing a new proposal that would ban people convicted of animal cruelty from owning guns in the state.

The proposed bill, if passed into law, would deny those convicted of animal abuse from obtaining an Illinois Firearms Owners ID card and would also lead to the revocation of current permits, KMOX reported.

“People that have abused animals, every study says that they abuse women, they abuse children, they’re serial killers. So what we’re saying is if you’re convicted of animal abuse, no guns for you for the rest of your life,” said Jerry Elsner, executive director of the Illinois State Crime Commission.

Elsner also noted that Illinois lawmakers had been leaders in prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing guns as well.

The proposal comes weeks after gunman Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. CNN reported that Kelley had a history of mental illness and violent behavior, which included a 2012 domestic assault conviction that led to him being discharged from the U.S. Air Force. He also pleaded guilty in 2014 to an animal cruelty charge and also faced allegations of sexual assault.

Kelley’s domestic violence record alone should have prohibited him from purchasing firearms, but the Air Force admittedly failed to relay the records to the proper law enforcement departments, which prevented his record from showing up in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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