Illinois FOID Card Reform Legislation Will Increase Costs, Red Tape & Confiscation

Illinois lawmakers are currently considering legislation to overhaul the state’s FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) card licensing process.  

Advocates for the bills, known as House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966, argue that the changes are needed to fix “gaps” within the current system.

“I think this is realistic reform that many people can get behind. We are trying to fix the gaps in the FOID to make sure people with violent criminal histories cannot have firearms,” said Laura Singer of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC in an interview with CBS Chicago

Supporters pointed to the shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora that left six people dead, including the killer, and six others wounded. The perpetrator’s FOID card had been revoked but police were never instructed to confiscate his firearms.  

“We are going to give the state police the authority and the ability to take care of that,” Illinois State Rep. Kathleen Willis(D- Addison), the sponsor of the bill, told ABC 7.  

In an investigative report, The Chicago Tribune estimated that 27,000 residents have had their FOID cards revoked since 2015 but have not disclosed to authorities what they did with their firearms.  

By law, anyone who receives a revocation notice must turn over to law enforcement a detailed report of the make, model and serial number of each firearm they own, the location where the firearms will be kept during the revocation period and transferee information if a firearm or firearms are to be sent or sold to another FOID card holder.  

Failure to do so could result in confiscation.  But in the case of the Aurora workplace shooting, law enforcement did not follow-up, as gun shop owner Dan Eldridge told ABC 7.  

“The tools are there for law enforcement and the criminal justice system could have stopped and they failed to do that,” said Eldridge, who added that the addition red tape proposed by the legislation is “an enormous waste of scarce precious law enforcement resources to no meaningful end.”

The NRA-ILA did a complete breakdown of all the incremental infringements of the FOID card reform bills:

  • Criminalize private transfers, with violations being punished as a Class 4 felony.
  • Require the recipient of a firearm gifted by a family member to call into Illinois State Police within 60 days to run a background check on themselves, even though they must already hold a FOID.
  • Allow for the indefinite delay of firearm transfers. Currently, federal law allows a licensed firearm dealer (FFL) to release a firearm after three business days if they have not received any additional correspondence after receiving a “delay” when conducting the initial background check for a firearm transfer. This safeguard prevents the potential shutdown of sales via endless delays and allows law-abiding individuals to take possession of a firearm in a timely manner.
  • Mandate FOID applicants submit fingerprints, including for renewals, which would not add anything of investigative value.
  • Increase FOID processing time from one calendar month to thirty business days, which can span more than six weeks.
  • Reduce the duration of the FOID from ten years to five while also increasing the application fee from $10 to $50, resulting in a 1000% increase in the cost to maintain a FOID for the same amount of time.
  • Require FOID applicants pay all costs for fingerprinting and processing the background check, totaling around $150 on top of the application fee.
  • Allow courts to direct law-enforcement to seize firearms from those who have their FOID revoked.
  • Prohibit those with a revoked FOID from transferring firearms to someone in the same household, which would create confusion in determining the owner of the firearms and would take away the right to self-defense from individuals due to the alleged actions of someone else in their household.
  • Require the owner of the seized firearms to petition the court to have them transferred to a third party.​

A House committee has already voted to approve the changes but no further legislative action has been scheduled. Nevertheless, now is the time to take action against this FOID card reform! Click here to contact local lawmakers, urge them to oppose House Amendment 1 to SB 1966.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Sepp W May 25, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Instead of repealing the FOID law, they want to make it worse. These legislatures made as much as an admission the scheme is broke, but instead of fixing the enforcement process, we’ll just increase the penalties for firearms owners.

  • Hondo May 24, 2019, 5:32 pm

    There is a reason people are fleeing this sh*thole state , democrats turn everything they touch into shit and people are tired of it .

  • blg May 24, 2019, 4:47 pm

    Seems to Me the FOID card is Unconstitutional. Why do you need a card to exercise your Constitutional Rights? All these Anti-Gun laws will probably pass as there are more people in Metro Chicago than in the rest of the State. Illinois also wants to put about a 20 cent a gallon tax on gasoline and raise license plates from $100.00 to $150.00 a year. It’s the California of the Mid-West.

  • MELVIN BARNA May 24, 2019, 10:00 am

    This is another way for Illinois to make money . This will not reduce crime in Chi- RAQ , only stiffer penalties will
    accomplish that.

  • KimberproSS May 24, 2019, 9:42 am

    The democrats are delusional. The current laws are not being enforced so they want to create more laws, I guess to make the breaking of the first laws more unlawful. That is the same approach they are taking with illegal immigration. The solution, enforce what you have now. Best solution is understand and live by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and stop trying to change them.

  • Bones May 24, 2019, 9:29 am

    It used to be we all thought only criminals and gangbangers committed gun crimes .. now just about ALL mass shootings are committed by legal gun owners… or (previously )legal…..but its proven on many cases the law wasnt followed by the authorities to intervene like they should have… i think owning a weapon should be harder to accomplish than just about anything in our society.. you fools dont wanna hear that of course… i think most people are idiots to be honest.. including most gun owners…. not everyone was created equal.. skills, intelligence or mental stability… i dont know how to police all those important things properly… if you guys are so smart , lets hear your answers other than “ let every mf in the country own one” i say F Y!!.. i think its ludicrus that many states have no foid cards and such… it should be just as hard to own a gun as it is to carry one concealed.. classes, background checks,, age limits, etc.. you DAs would see it differently if your 9 yr old defenseless kid or nurse wife was smoked by a crazy f@@k at school , hospital ot library… you mfs want the wild west?….you only think you do…..guarranteed 95% of you wouldnt last … especially if you faced me.. im for making it as hard as possible to own… times have changed… this isnt 1776..its time to evolve.. thats what intelligent beings are supposed to do… we need to overcome our inherently evil selves.. almost impossible!!

    • D.J. May 24, 2019, 3:34 pm

      Well done , comrade commissar !

      Are you a member of the Komsomol , or have you graduated to
      full Bolshevik status ?

      Demanding that we ” inherently evil ” people submit to your notions
      of morality smacks of totalitarian impertinence that would make
      comrade Stalin very proud. I hope your ancestors are VERY proud of you !

      You , and others like you , are not the solution , but only add to the problem .
      The lot of you may find , in a surprising manner , the resistance to your
      neocommunist ideals , you so cherish .

      Keep the faith , Beria !

      ( side note : no shallow minded use of vulgarities in this reply )

  • Michael Gothard May 24, 2019, 8:15 am

    What can you say ? It’s Illinois, another Democratic run communist state where the government wants to control every aspect of your life. George Orwell’s book “1984” was wrong only in the date of the title.

  • Paul May 24, 2019, 7:52 am

    They should then increase the penalty for unlawful use of a weapon to a class 4 felony.

    As a police officer an arrest for unlawful use was routinely reduce to disorderly conduct.

    The joke here is they don’t enforce the laws for the use of firearms in a crime, but they want to make criminals out of law abiding citizens.

    • Big Jim May 24, 2019, 8:56 am

      The only crime here is the FOID system itself.

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