Baby Bubba's got a Beretta -- and a license


May 13, 2007, 08:34 PM,CST-NWS-bubba13.article

Baby Bubba's got a Beretta -- and a license
10-month-old is law-abiding citizen, so FOID card is no problem

May 13, 2007
My 10-month-old son has the cutest FOID card.

Howard David Ludwig -- affectionately nicknamed Bubba -- received his state-issued firearm owner's identification card two weeks ago.

The wallet-size card arrived about a month after his dear ol' dad correctly completed the online form and sent in the fee.

As a FOID card holder, baby Bubba can own a firearm, as well as ammunition, in Illinois.

He can also legally transport an unloaded weapon, though he can't yet walk, so that's not an issue.

The plastic card has a picture of Bubba giving a toothless grin in the upper right corner. It includes his name, address and date of birth -- 6/14/2006.

The FOID card lists his height (2 feet, 3 inches) and his weight (20 pounds).

His signature is superimposed at the bottom. Since Bubba can't sign his name, I simply placed a pen in his hand. He made the scribble.

Third time's the charm
Why does a 10-month-old need a FOID card? Blame Grandpa.

Within weeks after Bubba's birth, my father called with news. "I bought him a gun," he said.

"What?" I asked.

Grandpa Ludwig, an avid trap shooter, explained he wanted an heirloom for his first grandson. He plans to engrave his name on the trigger guard.

When the proud grandpa walked into Mega Sports in Plainfield, the salesman asked why he was buying a gun. My dad explained it was a gift for his grandson.

"How old is the boy?" the salesman asked.

"Two weeks," the new grandpa said.

"Don't you think you should wait?" the salesman replied.

"Nah, best to do it now," the eager customer said.

About an hour later, my dad walked out of the suburban gun shop with a receipt for a 12-gauge Beretta. He picked up the 686-model shotgun the next day.

The Wife wasn't excited. Despite her Texas upbringing, she's under the impression that cloth books and footed pajamas are somehow better baby gifts.

I needed to take the appropriate steps to make sure Bubba became a legal gun owner. So, I logged on to the Illinois State Police Web site and printed the FOID application.

I filled out one for myself and another for Bubba.

It takes 30 days to process the application. I anxiously greeted the mail carrier the next four weeks, curious if the State Police would issue a FOID card to a 10-month-old.

When it finally arrived, I found my application was approved, but Bubba was rejected. I was expecting an official letter that went something like:

Attention Father of the Year,

We are not issuing a FOID card to an infant.


The Illinois State Police

Instead, I was rejected on a technicality. I forgot to check the box confirming Bubba was a U.S. citizen.

(Though I'm not entirely sure why that matters.)

Undeterred, I filled out the form again and sent in another $5.

This time, I failed to check a box indicating that I was Bubba's father. So, I filled out another form and sent in another $5.

Maybe they figured I'd give up after two failed attempts. But as a stay-at-home dad, I am used to overcoming setbacks. This was nothing compared to diaper rash.

The third time proved to be the charm.

Even NRA surprised
One week later, we took our father-and-son FOID cards to the Palos Sportsman's Club.

I showed one of my dad's shooting buddies Bubba's FOID card. "Don't you need to pass a test or something to get this?" he said.

"No," I replied, somewhat surprised that he didn't know the 1968 Firearm Owner's Identification Act forward and backward.

Really, there's no reason why Bubba should not have a FOID card. The program is designed to keep guns away from convicted felons, those convicted of domestic battery or domestic violence and anyone subject to an active order of protection.

My 10-month-old son hasn't broken any of these rules ... yet.

The larger question is why would the State Police issue a FOID card to anyone under 18?

Even with a valid FOID card, Bubba can't go into a gun shop and buy a long gun until he is 18. He has to wait until 21 to buy a handgun. (Though Chicago bans handguns entirely, through a local ordinance.)

Anyone under 21 can shoot a gun without a FOID card.

The law permits the exemption so long as a FOID card holder supervises the youngsters.

Thus, father-son turkey hunts are legal as long as dad has his FOID card.

I called the National Rifle Association and told them of my scheme.

"Oh my," the NRA spokeswoman said.

Her surprise came knowing Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Illinois tacks on all sorts of state restrictions on top of the federal guidelines, she said.

I also called the State Police, who said they followed the law as it's written.

"There is nothing in the FOID Act or any of the rules that says anything about age restrictions," said Lt. Scott Compton.

Say a group of 15-year-old boys wants to go hunting rabbits unsupervised. If their parents approve the hunt, then the boys would need FOID cards, Compton said.

I'm not about to approve any unsupervised hunting or trap shooting for Bubba. Still, I'm glad he was able to get his FOID card.

It makes an adorable addition to his baby book.

Howard Ludwig is a former Daily Southtown business writer who traded his reporter's notebook for a diaper bag, becoming a stay-at-home dad.

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May 13, 2007, 09:27 PM
The Law works in mysterious ways.

May 13, 2007, 09:30 PM
The Daily Sothtown, is a liberal rag and Mouthpiece. Once again the, FOID card BS is exposed for what it is. It does nothing. And, for the record, I would not brag too loudly about this lest it be a new 'loophole'. I've threatened to get my kids one, too. Maybe they'll be off the books or out of here. The FOID card is not very High Road--it is, 'Papieren, Bitte!' incarnate.

Did I mention the DS (formerly 'The Economist', et al), is a liberal rag?

May 13, 2007, 09:34 PM
Solution? Get rid of the FOID system. Problem solved.

May 13, 2007, 09:52 PM
They should also make sure they get his right to vote, speak, worship, etc registered and documented at birth.

It's so nice to see that the state of Illinois is good about picking and choosing who is and is not allowed to exercise their constitutionally enumerated fundamental human rights.

May 14, 2007, 12:32 PM
My kids have had their FOID cards since they were 5.

And yes, it's a stupid law that does nothing to prevent or deter crime, on makes it hard on the law-abiding.

Dr. Dickie
May 14, 2007, 12:50 PM
And yes, it's a stupid law that does nothing to prevent or deter crime, on makes it hard on the law-abiding.

Ahh, but don't you think that is the reason behind it! Make it a pain, make you feel like you are doing something just a wee bit wrong, that keeps people from doing it. Discourages people from being gun owners.

May 14, 2007, 01:09 PM
I'm considering it for my little (4/2.5 yr olds) girls. The point being with continued fun and games--they need to have lawful title to some of my gear now (even though they are not old enough to physically have it obviosly).

With FOID's I can log in in the book, and it will be a transfer that will be (hopefully) immune from potential BS.

May 14, 2007, 01:16 PM
Yet another article with no point whatsoever written by a retarded attention whoring liberal :barf:

Illiniois would be a great state if it wasn't for Chicago. This gives me an idea:)

I propose we give the liberals thier own state. That way they can live in thier own socialist utopia and cook up all the retarded laws that thier little hearts desire without ruining the rest of the country.:D

Obammastan has a nice ring to it...

May 14, 2007, 01:43 PM

May 14, 2007, 01:57 PM
Ahh, but don't you think that is the reason behind it! Make it a pain, make you feel like you are doing something just a wee bit wrong, that keeps people from doing it. Discourages people from being gun owners.

Exactly. It's called the chilling effect, and is a well known mechanism for coercing people not to excercise their rights. In the area of the 1st Amendment, even the potential for a chilling effect is sufficient to have gov't activity that might affect rights abolished. When it comes to the RKBA, the chilling effect is the intended consequence.

May 15, 2007, 11:39 AM
It's a cash maker, plain and simple.

Even at only 5 bucks a pop, it's free money for the state.

May 15, 2007, 12:59 PM
I saw that story this morning on the local (anti-gun) news. Near the end they showed the back of the card focused up on the signature line and the part where it says "....carry a concealed handgun". I assume the rest of it says "This is NOT a license to carry a concealed handgun" but of course they have to make it seem as if the baby has a IDH (Inside the Diaper Holster) and is packing. :mad:

May 15, 2007, 01:10 PM

ROFLMAO, as once again, our ever-growing-online-government system is busy doing the people's work, taking in money anyway they can, without liability, nor competence.

Just throwing more good-money at bad programs, along with paying for the incompetent employees of all these government's (programs & laws) WILL to take care of EVERYTHING & EVERYONE!!!

Only thing I can say, Bubba and his Dad are PRICELESS gems in my book, because I know they-will obey the trust and law/s that they're privileged to pay taxes for, as well as the rest of us.

Good-on-ya Bubba.. ;)


May 15, 2007, 02:01 PM
This was just covered on my local news! That is funny.

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