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House passes “Fix the FOID” bill 62-52

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller


Exercising Constitutional rights in America should not cost money, but under new legislation approved in the Illinois House today the cost of gun ownership in Illinois will dramatically increase.

The House approved Senate Bill 1966 62-52. The legislation would substantially the increase cost of a FOID card and complicate the process by mandating fingerprinting as a requirement to obtain/renew a FOID card with a maximum cost of $30 for the service. The legislation also raises the FOID card renewals to $20 every 5 years (currently $10 for a 10-year license). Finally, it also requires private firearm sales/transfers go through a licensed dealer.

“This legislation is an affront to every gun owner in this state,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “You should not have to pay money to exercise your Constitutional rights. We have a guaranteed right to own a firearm under the Constitution, but here in Illinois to exercise that right, you must jump through all kinds of hoops and pay all kinds of money to the state. There are few things you can count on in life, but one of them is that Illinois State Rifle Association will keep fighting this in the Legislature and will be challenging this terrible legislation in court should it be signed into law.”


Today, the Illinois House passed the Fix the FOID Act (SB 1966), that address loopholes in the state’s existing gun licensing system that were brought to light following the tragic shooting that took five lives on February 15, 2019 in Aurora, Illinois. With days to go before the end of the Illinois legislative session, the Senate must call for a vote before the bill can head to the Governor’s desk.

“We are grateful to chief sponsor Representative Kathleen Willis and proud of the Illinois House for working to close the gaps in our gun laws to ensure that those who are prohibited from gun possession, are not able to easily evade the law and arm themselves,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of G-PAC. “We urge the Illinois Senate to take this critical legislation over the finish line by voting yes to fixing the FOID.”

“People are looking for action to prevent gun violence, and Springfield is listening,” said Tanja Radakovich Murray, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Closing deadly gaps in our gun laws is a matter of public safety, and the Senate should act quickly to send this important legislation to the Governor’s desk.”

“People prohibited from owning a gun shouldn’t be able to get their hands on one,” said Nico Bocour, state legislative director at Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly. “Gaps in Illinois’s strong laws have allowed dangerous individuals to use a firearm to cause devastating tragedies like the shooting in Aurora, Illinois. But state lawmakers didn’t just offer thoughts and prayers. They acted to make sure Illinoisans are safe from gun violence at work and in their communities. The Fix the FOID Act closes dangerous loopholes so only law-abiding citizens can buy a gun. We applaud Rep. Willis and Sen. Morrison for their leadership in sponsoring this legislation and look forward to Governor Pritzker signing the Fix the FOID Act into law.”

Under current Illinois law, individuals seeking to buy a gun must first obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card from the Department of State Police. The Fix the FOID Act would make the following key provisions to the current FOID system:

    Require a point-of-sale background check for all gun sales, including those by an unlicensed seller.
    Require applicants for FOID Cards to submit fingerprints as part of their application.
    Reduce the FOID Card duration from 10 years to five years.
    Require action by the State Police to remove guns once a FOID Card is revoked.

An investigation by the Chicago Tribune published last week found that as many as 30,000 guns may still be in the possession of Illinois residents deemed too dangerous to have them, while the Chicago Sun-Times editoralized in favor of Fix the FOID. In the editorial, the Sun-Times writes: “none of the modest measures being proposed in this legislation would impose an undue burden on anybody’s Second Amendment rights. But they might have saved the lives of five people in Aurora on Feb. 15, 2010.”

Support for the bill is growing across district and party lines. A recently released poll finds that two-thirds of Illinois voters support the Fix the FOID Act including roughly three-quarters of voters in suburban Cook County and the “collar counties” of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will and almost half of voters in Downstate Illinois.

The measure passed out of the House by a margin of 62-52.

The roll call is here. Democratic Reps. Bristow, Greenwood, Halpin, Hoffman, Kifowit, Reitz, Scherer, Stuart and Yednock voted “No.”

Reps. DeLuca and Mayfield did not vote. Rep. Mason was excused.


  1. - Matt - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    These changes seem logical and will help the system. Good job to the dems for a tough political vote.

  2. - Seats - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    Are those that would have renewed last summer for 10 years are exempt of finger print requirements until 2028?

  3. - PJ - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    Nice to see Democrats with the courage to actually pass progressive priorities. That’s rarely been the case, even under past administrations with total D control.

  4. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    ==You should not have to pay money to exercise your Constitutional rights.==

    Just gonna wait here a minute until they realize it.

  5. - Former State Worker - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:54 pm:


  6. - revvedup - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:57 pm:

    Illinois once again takes a giant step backwards by passing a do-nothing law, while pushing no/low bail laws so felons are out while awaiting trial. Can’t wait to see how long it takes for the lawsuits to challenge it, should it become law. I note the lack of overwhelming support, clearing the House by only 10 votes.

  7. - Fixer - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    Thanks Richard, but as the owner of a few different firearms, please don’t put words in my mouth. I am okay with these changes. Now ISP, enforce them. The stats mentioned in the Tribune article are embarrassing. That’s the real affront to legal gun owners everywhere.

  8. - AND - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:59 pm:

    I wonder how many gang bangers have FOID cards? Legislation like this continue to drive a wedge between Chicago and the rest of the state.

  9. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    ==Exercising Constitutional rights in America should not cost money,==

    And yet sometimes it does. This isn’t unique to the 2nd Amendment. You can argue amounts. But don’t pretend that a fee is somehow a violation of your rights because that’s just ridiculous.

  10. - B-Non - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:11 pm:

    ==You should not have to pay money to exercise your Constitutional rights.==

    As they say, freedom isn’t free.

  11. - RuralJewel - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:13 pm:

    Did anyone notice that this bill also impacts how the funding collected from FOID applications is allotted? DNR used to receive a portion that went to the Fish and Wildlife Fund. Under this bill, DNR wouldn’t receieve any money at all. It is estimated that DNR will lose in excess of $2 million in funding as a result. DNR Law Enforcement Director Jerry Costello stated that DNR does about 70 percent of the FOID enforcement work. I’ve no issue with regulating second ammendment rights, but can we at least make sure that we aren’t choking the agency that serves many FOID holders? Legal gun owners and outdoorsmen will feel this punch in the gut if the budget for DNR doesn’t make up for this source of revenue being cut.

  12. - PrairieDog - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:13 pm:

    Existing FOID law was found unconstitutional on the basis of the fee LAST year by the circuit court in White County. People v. Vivian Brown, currently on appeal before state supreme court. Funny we’ve heard so little about that case….

  13. - lakeside - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:21 pm:

    51 - From the post: “A recently released poll finds that two-thirds of Illinois voters support the Fix the FOID Act including roughly three-quarters of voters in suburban Cook County and the “collar counties” of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will and almost half of voters in Downstate Illinois.”

  14. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:25 pm:

    A lot of what’s in this bill makes sense to me. I have one question, once a gun owner submits his fingerprints into the system does he or she have to do it again in 5 years?

  15. - PrairieDog - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:25 pm:


    “Half of voters in Downstate Illinois”?

    No one asked me, or anyone else I’m acquainted with. Where does this “half” live?

  16. - Arsenal - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:32 pm:

    ==I note the lack of overwhelming support==

    Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but passage is a pretty binary category. It’s not gonna be any less of a law if it only gets a bare majority.

  17. - very old soil - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:32 pm:

    Take a statistics class.

  18. - PrairieDog - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:32 pm:


    ISP was unable to enforce the law on the books now to prevent that Aurora shooting. Why would you think adding to its workload would allow it to do a better job?

  19. - Senator Clay Davis - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    Lots of municipalities require a permit, and a fee, for a protest. The right to assemble and speak is protected in the Constitution too. Freedom isn’t free, NRA.

    Calm down, it’s 20 bucks.

  20. - Perrid - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    “You should not have to pay money to exercise your Constitutional rights”

    So, news organizations should be able to produce their product for free (meaning the company pays nothing for it)? All churches should be built free for the congregations?

    You spend money for your rights all the time. Even if you take them at what they meant instead of what they said, which I assume is that you shouldn’t have to pay the government, then news organizations at the least still have taxes and fees.

  21. - G'Kar - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:39 pm:

    Mr. Pearson, as a downstate gun owner, neither you nor the ISRA speaks for me.

  22. - Downstate Illinois. - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:46 pm:

    Perrid, don’t be so dense. Rich Miller shouldn’t have to pay the state for a permit to exercise his First Amendment rights. Why should we be the one of the only states to require a fee to exercise our Second Amendment rights. The state can’t handle the existing workload. Doubling it will only slow everything down and still won’t deal with the criminals with guns. The hours spent enforcing this assault on civil rights would be better spent targeting those local police know shouldn’t be possessing firearms.

  23. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    ==this assault on civil rights==

    I’m pretty sure gun ownership doesn’t fit into the civil rights category. A right? Yes. A civil right? Umm, no.

    ==shouldn’t have to pay the state for a permit to exercise his First Amendment rights==

    And yet you do have to in some cases.

  24. - Senator Clay Davis - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    ===targeting those local police know shouldn’t be possessing firearms.===

    But that’s what the bill does. It enables local police to take firearms away from people that shouldn’t be possessing them. How is that an “assault on civil rights?”

  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    ===Rich Miller shouldn’t have to pay the state for a permit to exercise his First Amendment rights===

    Lobbyists already do.

  26. - PJ - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    ==better spent targeting those local police know shouldn’t be possessing firearms==

    Everyone who voted yes today agrees with you. You didn’t even have to read the bill. You just had to read the summary Rich posted: “Require action by the State Police to remove guns once a FOID Card is revoked.”

    It also helps fund this mandate with the increased fee. The biggest issue, as you so correctly note, is that tens of thousands of people still have weapons who are disqualified. The biggest piece of this bill is helping to stop that.

  27. - PrairieDog - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 5:59 pm:


    How do you distinguish between “rights” and “civil rights”? Aren’t all rights under law “civil rights”? Or only the ones you personally approve of?

  28. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:03 pm:

    ==Or only the ones you personally approve of?==

    Oh please. Grow up already.

    There is a distinction. I didn’t diminish the right. I simply pointed out that civil right has a specific meaning and this doesn’t fit that.

  29. - Metro East Transplant - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:04 pm:

    So, I’ve been waiting 120+ days for my conceal carry license to arrive. 120 is suppose to be the max for approval (without fingerprint submittal). I’ve called ISP, only to be disconnected due to call overloads for the last 3-5 working days. I go through once and had to hang up after 1.15 hrs on hold. I’ve tweeted at them and have emailed trying to get info on when my (paid for) application will be approved and issued. No answer on any medium tried. I say all of this now to say…how in the world will ISP have the manpower to remove weapons from those who get their FOID’s revoked??? I mean they don’t have enough manpower to answer the phones, twitter or email. smh

  30. - Tired of Both Parties - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:12 pm:

    “The biggest issue, as you so correctly note, is that tens of thousands of people still have weapons who are disqualified. The biggest piece of this bill is helping to stop that.”

    I’m sure all of the people who aren’t supposed to have guns are watching this bill closely, just waiting to turn in the guns they are not supposed to have

  31. - Union Thug Gramma - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:17 pm:

    OMG…$20 for a 5 year license? It costs Illinois citizens more for a driver license. Too bad Illinois didn’t also start a fund for those that are affected by gun violence by at least getting better funding for employees to be able to vet those that are requesting FOID cards and the ability to pull them if issues arise(with ontime access to arrest records, order of protection, etc.).

  32. - Nieva - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:22 pm:

    This will not reduce the amount of gun violence in the cities. Most if not all haven’t got a FOID and most of the time the gun they kill with has been stolen from someone that has jumped through all of Illinois laws.

  33. - Perrid - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:26 pm:

    Downstate, don’t blame me if they can’t articulate what they really mean. And even what they (likely) really meant would STILL be wrong.

  34. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:33 pm:

    My FOID expires in 2023. The black robes will overturn FOID long before that. Nothing to see here.

  35. - lakeside - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:35 pm:

    Prairie- I guess you’d want to ask the pollsters? I’m just the person pointing to quotes in the post, since it seemed like they’d been missed. I’m sorry you weren’t polled.

  36. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:49 pm:

    ===…been stolen from someone that has jumped through all of Illinois laws.===

    Are there a lot of police reports of stolen guns? I’d like to see data on that. No, I think a lot of the guns that end up being involved in Chicago’s violence are purchased legally, often out of state and often at “gun shows.”

    You might be right that this tiny fee increase and minor inconvenience of fingerprinting won’t stop the shooting up here. But since we can’t change Indiana’s laws, we have to start somewhere.

    Also, there’s always Alabama if it gets too tough for you here.

  37. - Hottot - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:04 pm:

    Glad I got my new FOID card this month. I expect this to face a Federal court challenge.

  38. - oh? - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:04 pm:

    If the general public is to benefit from tightened FOID card requirements then the general public should pay for it. It should not be excusively on gun owners. If $20, why not $200, why not $2000? The FOID card holders are not the ones killing people.

  39. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:07 pm:

    === You should not have to pay money to exercise your Constitutional rights ===

    Are the NRA lobbyists working for free?

    Are the NRA lawyers working for free?

    Are the NRA communications flaks working for free?

  40. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:08 pm:

    ===The FOID card holders are not the ones killing people.===

    Um, the shooting in Aurora by a FOID holder is why this bill was introduced. Try to keep up.

  41. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:08 pm:

    With an immediate effective date - I predict a flurry of private sales between today and when JB signs the bill.

  42. - Justdoingtime - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:08 pm:

    Good, hopefully this is the road to the Supreme Court and we can get rid of the food card altogether.

  43. - Justdoingtime - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:13 pm:

    Good, hopefully this is the road to the Supreme Court and we can get rid of the foid card altogether.

  44. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:14 pm:

    ==we can get rid of the food card altogether.==

    That’s just cruel. What do you have against food?

  45. - Motambe - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 7:21 pm:

    I have read that this bill discriminated against many long-time teachers whose use of chalk has mad their fingerprints electronically unreadable. Paper and ink fingerprints are not allowed, thus disenfranchising these people from renewing or obtaining a FOID card. Thank you, Illinois General Assembly.

  46. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 9:23 pm:

    Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. these are my rights too. and they are being hampered by the violence that comes from guns. guns which are typically initially legally purchased but which somehow….bad sellers….find their way into the hands of criminals. This new measure will help to put initial purchasers truly on the record, their fingerprint record.

  47. - Retired ISP - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 9:32 pm:

    As a recently retired ISP officer, I am looking forward to coming back to work at $40-$50 per hour to help administer this.

    Should only take 600-800 retirees coming back to work to get this deal up and running.

  48. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 9:35 pm:

    Official. Call me a member of the eastern bloc. Secession is our only out.

  49. - oh? - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 9:35 pm:

    47th ward…you should keep up…he was not a card holder…it was revoked. The general public, aka Rauner, didn’t want to pony up enough to go after him. Why should that be on gun owners?

  50. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 9:54 pm:

    Another tax on the working poor and middle classes by Illinois Democrats. Keep voting Dem my union brothers and sister’s and you too will end up further down the rung of prosperity.

  51. - Lynn S. - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 1:39 am:

    Prairie Dog–care to tell us what interstate you’re south of? I-64? I-70? I-72? I-74? I-80?

    You don’t have to say the name of your county, but what is its population, rounded to the nearest 1000?

    You may be in a county with a population below 20,000–17,500 of whom are gun nuts foolish enough to believe the drive the NRA is peddling.

    But Champaign County alone is almost 205,000 people, and I’m willing to bet at least 51% of the population in it have no issues with FOID cards and this law.

    Land doesn’t vote. People do.

    And population is something that the rural counties, especially in Southern Illinois, lack.

  52. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 6:33 am:

    Lynn S. For 45 years of adult life i worked tirelessly to get Dems elected. Door to door. Phone banks. Benefits. Donations. Even last year my ballot was 60-40 Dems. With this law,i will never vote for a Dem. I will work as tirelessly for Repubs as i did for Dems. The pendulum will swing.

  53. - Pundent - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 6:44 am:

    So you base your entire political views entirely on having to complete paperwork and pay a fee to own a killing machine?

  54. - oh? - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 7:46 am:

    Pundent, there is nothing wrong with the paperwork requirements.
    The issue is why should a select group, gun owners, be singled out to pay for enforcement? How about $500 driver license fees to pay for dui enforcement?

  55. - oh? - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 8:03 am:

    Better yet Prudent, let’s raise driver license fees based upon the number of people caught driving on a suspended license. /s

  56. - yosemite sam - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 8:12 am:

    I support the fingerprinting, but make it free and make it convenient. It’s a mater of verifying identities and the burden to prove who you are should rest on the state. Yes, the money needs to come from somewhere but it shouldn’t be coming directly out of the pockets of the person applying.

  57. - Elmer Keith - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 8:27 am:

    “The hours spent enforcing this assault on civil rights would be better spent targeting those local police know shouldn’t be possessing firearms.” Any sort of “firearm revocation teams” created by this bill should really worry anyone concerned about civil rights and the rule of law under the Constitution. “Giving” otherwise law-abiding people who have an FOID and own a firearm 48 hours to turn in their guns or face a SWAT raid is a disaster in the making.

    Watching the media coverage of the Aurora workplace shooting, the most frightening thing was the militarized police with armored vehicles and full auto firearms. This bill demonizes citizen who own guns and sets them up as “enemies of the state” who deserve to be killed by police. Get ready for Waco in Illinois.

  58. - Lynn S. - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 8:38 am:

    Dear oh? and Yosemite Sam,

    My taxes will be going to pay for police officers needed and medical bills caused by gun violence.

    You want to own a gun? Yeah, you’re going to have to fill out paperwork (including fingerprints), and pay more than a pittance to do so. And that paperwork will have an expiration date and fees attached to it every time you apply for it.

    BDD, it’s a free country. You can vote a straight Republican ballot, if you so choose. You’ll buy yourself a whole ‘nother mess of problems when you do, and if Cook and the collars stay blue you’ll lose even more of your power to influence policy in Illinois.

    I’m well aware of the mischief certain “Progressive Democrats” are engaged in, at the local, state, and national levels. But the Republican party in its current state is no better. When they stop selling their decency and soul for votes, perhaps they’ll stop their decline.

  59. - Grandpa2 - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 9:19 am:

    If this bill passes and is signed into law, we will need to address the logistical nightmare of fingerprinting 1.4 million current FOID card holders in a 5 (or 10) period, and over and over. That is not possible without significant additional staff, equipment, and locations. I am not saying that fingerprinting is not a worthwhile requirement, but I think emotions are winning over possible implementation at the moment. And we could make many of our law-abiding citizens into criminals over the next decade if this law could not be implemented properly.

  60. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 9:28 am:

    ===and over and over===

    Do fingerprints change?

  61. - revvedup - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    Rich, it’s not that fingerprints change, it’s that renewal of the FOID will require re-fingerprinting to hassle the law-abiding into giving up their guns, along with paying fees to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. ISP is backlogged already, so how long should people have to wait to exercise a Constitutional right??

  62. - PrairieDog - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    Lynn S.;

    I would like some particulars on that survey claiming “half” of downstate voters favor this bill. Sample size, statistical methods, etc. Your claiming that “51%” of voters in Champaign County favor it doesn’t make it true. Unless, of course, you believe your opinion as a resident of a more populous place makes it worth more. As an opinion….

  63. - Mason born - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 30, 19 @ 9:28 am:

    ===and over and over===

    Do fingerprints change?

    Rich this is something I haven’t been able to ascertain from the bill Are prints required once or at every renewal? If it’s once that would make a LOT more sense.

  64. - NW Il farmer - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 8:11 am:

    Let me get this straight. In order to legally use a tool to dispatch a rapid skunk in my field, I’ll have to get finger printed, pay $30 for that service and pay $20 every 5 years for a FOID card? Why do IL politicians think that additional and more stringent laws will fix the problem of people not obeying, and not being able to enforce, the current laws?
    Or is this really just about raising more money for crony Chicago machine politicians to spend? Considering Chicago gun laws it should be one of the safest cities in the US. I guess the laws themselves aren’t as important as appearing to be doing something about a problem; even if the laws are bad or ineffective. Those who seek safety at the expense of freedom …

  65. - Rural resident - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 8:47 am:

    Really? 30,000 revoked FOIDs without their weapons turned in or confiscated? And exactly what will change under this new law? $20 per card will be enough to afford all the additional police needed to cover their current workload AND confiscate all these guns? Feel safe Illinoisans your politicians are concerned about your safety.

  66. - undefinedable_variable - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    I agree with Rural resident. Why isn’t ISP doing their job of following up on the revocations? Why are law abiding citizens with legal FOIDs being punished for this?

  67. - Rural Resident - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 7:47 pm:

    Undefineable, I just read through this legislation and all of it’s corresponding legislature rewrites and I believe the purpose of this bill is to begin the systematic confiscation of guns. All that appears to be required is for someone to alert the authorities that a gun owner is a potential danger to themselves or others and they would have to surrender their FOID and consequently their guns within a couple of days.
    I hope all those who are working to create the Utopian state of Illinois are willing to stay here after every freedom loving person with common sense has left and the economic collapse has set in.

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