Massive Delays for FOID Card, CCW Permits in Illinois As Crime Spikes

Extreme wait times for Illinois FOID cards and concealed carry permits have residents speaking out, reports local news affiliate ABC 7

Terrence Thrower, who hails from the Windy City, misplaced his wallet that contained both his permit to carry and his FOID card last year. 

Thrower says he’s been waiting eight months for the state to grant his request for replacements.  

“I feel extremely unsafe every time I walk out of my house,” he explained, noting the rise in crime in the city (carjackings have doubled, homicides up 50%).

“It’s scary, because I feel like I can’t protect myself or my family,” he continued. “My wife and I, we have a newborn baby. With such a high rise in carjackings, I feel like I can’t leave the house without my firearm and feel safe.”

Another Illinoisan, Wei Zheng, echoed Thrower’s concerns.  

“After eight months I’m still waiting,” Zheng said, with respect to her FOID card application. “I feel really helpless and upset.”

Arlington Heights resident David Howley applied for a FOID in July of 2020.  He, too, is still waiting.  

“So as of today, that would be 191 days and 156 work days,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point of almost being ridiculous, the length of time.”

SEE ALSO: Illinois Residents Experiencing Insane Wait Times for CCLs

The long wait for permits is nothing new.  As GunsAmerica reported in 2019, concealed carry applicants were waiting in excess of 140 days for permits. 

Back in December, when asked about the situation, Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker shifted the blame to his predecessor Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pritzker claimed the previous administration did not properly fund nor staff the department within the Illinois State Police (ISP) responsible for processing FOID and CCW applications.  

“When I came into office in 2019, we stopped sweeping that fund. ISP Initiated a hiring plan. We certainly want to bring down that backlog,” he said.  

Pritzker also said the demand for FOID cards shot up during 2020 due to the pandemic.  

“It just exacerbated the backlog that already existed that ISP is attempting to whittle down,” Pritzker said.

While ISP plans on adding another seven analysts to their ranks this year, some state lawmakers believe that if things don’t change it might be time to put a pause on the system, at least as it relates to the issuance of FOID cards.

“If my father-in-law from Ohio comes to visit to go hunting, he can go in and buy ammunition without a FOID card. All he has to do is show that he’s not from Illinois. So we are second class citizens in our own state,” said Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (IL-110th). “We need to suspend the FOID system until we can get it under control.”

Mark Oliva, Director of Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told GunsAmerica via email that the delays only impact the law-abiding.  

“Rights delayed are rights denied and Illinois is proving this in a painful way to their law-abiding citizens,” said Oliva. 

“The necessary resources haven’t been dedicated to ensure citizens can freely, and without delay, exercise their God-given rights. This demonstrates that these obstacles to law-abiding citizens exercising their rights only affects the law-abiding,” he continued.  “There isn’t one criminal in Illinois that is troubled by these delays.”

Sadly, that leaves residents with a tough choice.  Remain unarmed and hope that nothing bad happens or keep and bear arms in violation of state law.  

As Mr. Thrower pointed out, it has the potential for a lose-lose outcome.     

“God forbid something happen, or I decided to carry without having this card in my possession. Best believe they’re going to charge me with something,” he said. “It’s frustrating, it’s extremely frustrating.”

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

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Ryan Rich May 18, 2021, 2:56 am

    Folks, it’s an old Chicago game called a “de facto ban”. Wait times are projected to continue increasing.

    My advice is to call your Senator and House Rep, and ask them whether they want to keep their jobs come November. Then call the IL State Rifle Association and ask about joining class-action lawsuits, and lobbyist efforts to REPEAL this stupid card. I’ve kept my cool for 20 years, but having waited 8 months for a renewal (not new) FOID? Now I feel my 2A rights have been thoroughly violated, and I won’t keep quiet now.

    The 1968 FOID Act states I must have a FOID. It also states that the IL State Police’s Firearm Services Bureau only has 30 days to make a “shall issue” decision. I don’t give two sh*ts about a backlog, hiring problems. If I don’t get my FOID, do you think the Judge will accept “I had a backlog of things to do your Honor”, as a defense on a UUW charge? Hell no! Therefore, same applies with that 30 day shall issue requirement.

  • Hondo February 27, 2021, 6:39 pm

    And now you see why people are fleeing this state in record numbers , the most corrupt politicians outside of DC.

  • TRG February 20, 2021, 11:10 am

    What this article alludes to, but doesn’t expand on, is that Illinois legislators, in their infinite wisdom, chose to take over 3o million dollars!! out of the fund to support the general fund. It has never been replaced, and now they are wanting to raise the fees, claiming it is underfunded. If you don’t live in Illinois, don’t move here. And if you do, get out if you can…

  • Brian February 20, 2021, 10:41 am

    I applied for my CCL on 1/29/2020, and my FOID RENEWAL on 2/1/2020. ( They will not let you apply for a renewal more than 3 months prior to expiration) It has taken more than 1 year to receive them. I just checked their website this morning, and it states they were issued yesterday, 2/19/2021.

    Now if the USPS can get them here before April….

  • Adam February 20, 2021, 12:34 am

    I’m coming up on a year wait for my FOID, 8 months on concealed carry. As I understand it, If you go on ISP website and print your status that according to ISP will make you legal, but do your own due diligence.

  • Jbird February 19, 2021, 9:44 pm

    We in Illinois shouldn’t be made to purchase an foid card in the first place! This is against the second amendment! We’re getting ripped off! By the most corrupt state in the country! Run by the most corrupt government in the country! They should have to reimburse that money! I’m 56 years old and have been hunting since I was 10. I’ve been buying their bullshit for 38 years!🤬

  • Danny R Phillips February 19, 2021, 6:24 pm

    A circuit court Judge in White County Illinois has already ruled the FOID card as unconstitutional.
    The state Attorney General has sent this issue to the Appellate Court who have refused to rule on the issue and sent it back to the county court for review. The county circuit court once again ruled the FOID as unconstitutional under the second amendment. This case has languished in judicial limbo for 2 years as the AG office refuses to direct it to the Illinois Supreme Court for a ruling.
    No wonder people are moving out of Illinois as fast as they can!!!

  • Rooster February 19, 2021, 4:42 pm

    I don’t apply for or carry ID cards for any of my other rights, because they are my god given rights. It’s not a privilege bestowed to me by the state, it’s my right. There are many hills to die on, I choose this one.

  • John Laratta February 19, 2021, 3:59 pm

    We are witnessing the democratic party using its lack of integrity and their Illinois State Police stooges, to make sure that only the police have weapons. The rest of us, unless we have politically backed bodyguards, can all call for help.

  • J February 19, 2021, 3:37 pm

    An Illinois judge has said 2 times that the FOID card in Illinois is unconstitutional. But, the Illinois Supreme Court has dropped the ball. This is what we up against in Illinois with the unconstitutional FOID card. It gets sent back the the lower court for round 3 now.

  • southern illinoisan February 19, 2021, 10:13 am

    What I find interesting is that there is no reason to take so long to process FOID applications and renewals. I say this because I used to work as a dispatcher in an Illinois state university police department as a student worker in the last half of the 1970’s. We had the ability to sit in front of a terminal and request NCIC and LEADS info and it responded quickly. It came across the monitor in front of you and was printed by a tractor feed printer that used a belt with characters to impress the type on paper.

    45 years ago your license, VIN and most all things Illinois issued was almost instant.

    The only reason it isn’t today is because they have designed a workflow that requires particular things to happen that are not being managed well. This requires administrative rule changes that the ISP refuses or can’t see fit to do. More people with no FOID card means more opportunity to harass you. You are a “criminal” according to the law because of something that can be easily fixed.

    And it truly is easier to fix than spending millions in legal fees and law enforcement dollars on messing with those that just are trying to follow the “rules”.

  • Awesome Bill From Dawsonville February 19, 2021, 9:29 am

    The State of Illinois took my $150 concealed carry renewal fee back in July. We’re now in February and my renewal is still “under review.” If you call the State Police FOID phone number for any kind of assistance. the phone will ring for hours. They don’t even bother to answer.

  • Nick February 19, 2021, 8:40 am

    I did get me CCW in 3-4 months at beginning of 2020. I applied for FOID renewal on 8/2/20 and it’s now 2/19/21….no FOID. I do have a letter that says I am in good standing on the FOID since my app was put in on time and was accepted for processing. So now it’s three pieces of info I need if confronted by a cop while armed, not two (I understand they want to trip up CCW licensees by also asking for the FOID). I agree with those that will carry no matter what. It is absurd this is continuing to happen. Police are breaking the law.

  • Citipete February 19, 2021, 6:46 am

    I worked in the loop 7 years, had to walk half a mile to the train station sometimes at night. Do you think I would do that not carrying. I’d rather be judged by twelve then carried by six.

  • Roger J February 19, 2021, 6:16 am

    The long waits are not an accident or mismanagement. It’s done by design. The longer the Government can keep you disarmed the better. They view this as winning.

  • Joseph P. Haarstick February 18, 2021, 5:19 pm

    Massive Delays for FOID Card, CCW Permits in Illinois As Crime Spikes… As all planned years ago by the Democrats to infringe the Second Amendment

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