Thursday, May 17, 2007

US baby gets gun permit

This beggars belief... from the ABC

He can barely walk or talk, but 11-month-old "Bubba" Ludwig is already a fully paid up member of America's firearms fraternity, with a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun and a gun permit to his name.

The shotgun was a gift from his grandfather who bought it as an heirloom for his grandson when the infant was just two-weeks-old.

The gun permit came courtesy of the Illinois state authorities last month.

Even in a country with fervent gun advocates, news of an infant owning a gun has made headlines in US newspapers.

The toddler's father, also named Howard Ludwig, applied for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID) for his son, never imagining that he would actually get one.

"I filled in the form, saying he was two feet, three inches, 20 pounds, and I included a photo of him," said Mr Ludwig, who is a columnist for the Daily Southtown, a suburban Chicago newspaper.

The 30-year-old also had his son "sign" the application form, by putting a pen in his hand and letting him write a squiggle on the paper.

"I was expecting to get a letter back telling me I was an idiot. So when I got his FOID card (permit) back I was shocked. I couldn't believe it."

In Illinois, all firearms owners must apply for a permit, or FOID, in order to legally own a firearm or ammunition but there are no age restrictions on applicants, although anyone under 21 has to get the written consent of a parent or legal guardian, according to the Illinois State Police website.

For now, the shotgun is under lock and key at the home of Howard Ludwig senior.

Grandpa Ludwig plans to keep the shotgun under wraps until "Bubba" or Howard David Ludwig gets to be a teenager, at which point he plans to take the boy out trap hunting, family members said.


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