Who is getting targeted by “common sense” gun control measures that seek to make gun ownership more difficult, increase restrictions, and make purchasing and carrying a gun more expensive? The most vulnerable of us.
According to Pew Research, in 2014, fewer than half of all children in this country live in two-parent households. This means that for 46% of parents in this country, raising a child is an effort done alone.
Instead of two incomes coming in through the door, there’s only one. And children are expensive. CNN Money estimated that it costs nearly a quarter of a million dollars to raise a kid to adulthood. For a single mother or father making even half of the national real median income of $53,900 (U.S. Census Bureau), we’re looking at someone who realistically is bringing in close to half that amount — $26,950/year.
The expenses purely related to the child itself is estimated to be somewhere in vicinity of $13,000/year — housing, food, child care, healthcare, clothing, etc.
For a single parent out there in the world, often times it’s the choice of sleeping or keeping your child clothed and fed.
Now let’s look at getting a concealed carry permit in Illinois.
First, you need to get a handgun. In order to do this, you need a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). For that, you’ll need the following:
- A Valid Driver’s License or State Identification card.
- A head and shoulder electronic photograph taken within the last 30 days.
- $10.00 payable with a credit card or electronic check.
Once you get the FOID, you can purchase the handgun. That cost can be anywhere between $399 for the cheapest used handgun to likely anything under $1,000. Then there’s the cost of ammunition. While you’ll likely purchase full metal jacketed rounds for practice, you’ll want to have at least a box or two of self-defense rounds. Costs for ammunition can vary greatly depending upon where in the country you purchase it.
Let’s make a rough figure of the firearm plus ammunition coming out to be around $1,000 after taxes. Let’s add a cheap $35-45 holster and if you have a small child, you’re probably going to want a lock-box to store the gun. Between basic items like gun cleaning fluid, brushes, holster, and box, let’s tack on conservatively another $100.
Now, if you live in a city like Chicago, you have to register your gun with the city itself. That’s a one-time fee of $15 for each firearm.
Your cost to become a handgun owner in Illinois comes out to be around $1,125.
If you live in Chicago, you already know violent crime is a real problem. Even if you live outside of Chicago, the surrounding area is plagued by heavy violence as well.
This is a place that, as a single parent, you would want to be armed. Heck, we’d go so far as to say you ought to be armed.
But, let’s remember: $26,950/year. That comes out to $2,246/month. After estimated Federal, State, and local taxes, you have to stretch $1,827 to cover housing, food, heat, child care, and electricity.
So, while the $1,125 estimated amount to become a handgun owner doesn’t seem to be too egregiously high at first glance — for a single parent struggling to survive in the outskirts of Chicago, it’s a major financial decision.
Now, let’s talk about that concealed carry permit. In Illinois, you need to go through a state-approved training course.
Source: Illinois State Police
- 16 hours of Concealed Carry firearms training provided by an ISP approved Instructor. (est. $250-$500)
- A head and shoulder electronic photograph taken within the last 30 days. ($18 at your local Walgreen’s)
- Be able to provide the last ten years of residency.
- $150.00 payable with a credit card or electronic check.
Now you need to take a Concealed Carry License course. That’s going to be a minimum of $250 and two full days of classes.
Assume no hiccups, your total cost to become a concealed carrier in Illinois is, at a minimum, $450-500 if you do everything on a very strict budget.
Single parents already have enough hoops to go through to become law-abiding concealed carriers in the places where they need to carry a gun the most.
By increasing the costs associated with processing paperwork, decreasing the availability of certain types of handguns, placing undue restrictions on the gun ownership process — we’re making it harder for single parents on a limited income to afford to defend themselves.
That’s how “common sense” gun control actually hurts the people who need it most.