In Illinois, you're never too young to own a gun.
That's what one father found out, when he registered his 10-month-old son for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card.
Daily Southtown columnist Howard Ludwig registered his son —- Howard David Ludwig, nicknamed "Bubba" — online after the child's grandfather bought him a gun shortly after the baby's birth. Ludwig chronicled the road to gun ownership in a story that appeared in the Southtown on Sunday.
"Anyone who wants to own a firearm or purchase a firearm needs a FOID card," Ludwig told FOX News. "I applied for one of these for my son. Now ironically he can’t buy a gun until he’s 18 years old, but if he wants to own one -- which he does thanks to Grandpa -- he needs one of these cards anyhow."
The ID card, complete with a photo of the tot, allows the child to own a firearm and ammunition, and legally transport an unloaded weapon, even though Bubba has yet to learn how to walk.
“Not only did I have his birthday on there, it had a picture of him giving a toothless grin," Ludwig said. "It asked for his weight, which I listed at 20 pounds, and his height, which is 2 feet, 3 inches.”
The only tricky thing was getting his son, who has yet to learn how to write, to sign his John Hancock.
"He can’t quite sign his name yet, so I just put a pen in his hand," Ludwig told FOX. "He made a scribble in the appropriate box and that came superimposed at the bottom of the card."
Officials say that while it's rare to issue a FOID card to minors, it's not illegal.
"There is nothing in the FOID Act or any of the rules that says anything about age restrictions," Lt. Scott Compton, of the Illinois State Police, told the elder Ludwig.
Bubba got his ID card a few weeks after his father sent in the application and $5 fee.
"It’s pretty rare that anyone would need a FOID card at 10 months, but the fact that they’re issuing them I think is pretty interesting as well,” he said.