Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** More than two years after Aurora shooting, Illinois Democrats still can’t find agreement on a FOID fix
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*** UPDATED x1 *** More than two years after Aurora shooting, Illinois Democrats still can’t find agreement on a FOID fix

Thursday, Jun 10, 2021

* Dan Petrella at the Tribune

A month after Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office in 2019, giving Democrats complete control in Springfield, flaws in Illinois’ gun laws were exposed when a convicted felon whose state firearm owner’s identification card had been revoked opened fire in an Aurora warehouse, killing five co-workers and wounding a sixth along with five police officers.

The case became a rallying point for gun safety advocates, who’ve pushed for mandatory fingerprinting for FOID card applications, universal background checks for gun buyers, and a system that ensures people whose FOID cards are revoked hand over their weapons to authorities.

More than two years later, however, Pritzker and the Democratic-controlled legislature haven’t enacted those policies or any other major gun safety measures, even as they successfully pushed progressive measures that range from legalizing marijuana to abolishing cash bail. […]

A 2019 Tribune investigation found that as many as 30,000 guns were potentially in the hands of people who’d had their FOID cards revoked in the previous four years. A follow-up review last year found improved compliance but also an increase in the number of firearms that were unaccounted for.

Despite stopping short of requiring fingerprints, the Senate measure has the support of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC, also one of the main proponents of the stricter House proposal.

The Illinois State Rifle Association is neutral on the Senate bill.

There appear to be some personality conflicts here as well as some general stubbornness by the House Democrats. Whether it’s the House Speaker or the governor, somebody needs to nudge them into agreement.

*** UPDATE *** Related

The persistent delays in issuing Firearm Owner’s Identification cards in Illinois that has doubled in the last year-and-a-half continues after a federal judge shot down a motion this week seeking to force the state to issue backlogged cards. […]

A judge Wednesday struck down their motion to force the state to immediately issue backlogged cards, saying while the delays are a burden, it’s not severe enough to render the process unconstitutional.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Mad Hatter - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    The shooter had his FOID card revoked after fingerprints he submitted to speed up his concealed carry application flagged an out-of-state felony conviction that made him ineligible to own a gun in Illinois. The system broke down, however, when authorities failed to make sure he turned over any firearms in his possession.

    The current system failed (With fingerprints Included), The Illinois State Police can’t keep up with the current FOID law, so the answer is to have all gun owners fingerprinted. Which the US Supreme court would ultimately strike down as unconstitutional.

    Text book example of out of control government.

  2. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    The FOID experiment is a failed experiment.

  3. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    I don’t have a problem with the FOID or strengthening it to include mandatory fingerprinting. I say that as a CCL holder and avid hunter.

    What I do think they should do, before adding to the requirements, is add personnel to the enforcement and processing.

    As the ILGA continues to pass law after law, one thing they never seem to invest in is enforcement. Not enough people making sure what should happen does happen. That process isn’t sexy and people often hate it when they are called out. In my business (education) there is very little enforcement.

    Until the state invests in enforcement of the FOID rules and regs it really does not matter what they do.

  4. - Jocko - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    ==Text book example of out of control government.==

    But keep the workplace safety requirements…which get infringed upon when a disgruntled employee decides to shoot up the place.

  5. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:31 am:

    =Which the US Supreme court would ultimately strike down as unconstitutional.

    Text book example of out of control government.=

    Do you have anything to support your USSC claim? To date there is no indication that you are correct.

    I think ‘out of control’ is the type of hyperbole we need to stop. Poor management or implementation sure.

    I give credit to people in Illinois for wanting and trying to do something versus Texas and other states to cowed to attempt to do anything.

  6. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    get universal background checks. for every gun sale. every time. I’d take that over the fingerprinting requirement.

  7. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:43 am:

    I am unsure how FOID revocation works. I understand how Aurora shooter was revoked and unless someone goes to his house I doubt many would just give up a weapon, however if you are in court say for a domestic and you are told to turn over guns there out to be a short date for person to bring in guns. If the person does not comply bring him back with a warrant if necessary and hold him in contempt until he does comply

  8. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 10:53 am:

    Firearms owners without a FOID should be able to turn in their weapons to a local gun dealer/ range and get a receipt to present to law enforcement. The dealer certifies to the ISP they are storing the weapons, and from there, the dealer can destroy or re sell depending on court orders or charge a storage fee while the case is pending a Court ruling.

  9. - Mad Hatter - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    Poor management or implementation sure.

    So, the answer to ” Poor management or implementation sure.” is to add more government intervention on gun owners…..seriously…?

  10. - thisjustinagain - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:20 am:

    Time to ‘Fix the FOID’ by ending it entirely. It is a failed experiment which prevents nothing (most criminals get their guns illegally, see the Federal studies). Other shooters bought their guns legally, so what’s the FOID for again? And the lie of “If it prevents one shooting it’s worth it” doesn’t make it Constitutional either. But Illinois will continue boldly going backwards blaming and infringing on law-abiding gun owners rights for the criminal’s actions.

  11. - SAP - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    Progress on gun control that is not opposed by ISRA? What’s the holdup?

  12. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    =But Illinois will continue boldly going backwards blaming and infringing on law-abiding gun owners rights for the criminal’s actions.=

    EVERY right has limitations. See any bazookas on the streets these days? .50 cal machine guns?

  13. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:42 am:


    IL essentially has universal background checks. Unless you’re selling to your family you have to verify with ISP the individuals FOID card and ability to receive the firearm.

  14. - Nameless - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:47 am:

    @Give Us Barabbas

    That’s a terrible idea. In the case of revoked FOIDs a gun dealer does not have rights to take or sell anyone’s personal property. That’s like saying my local car dealer can resell my car (and keep the profits) if my drivers license gets revoked.

    What needs to happen, which is already law, is for local police to come take the guns & hold them until they can be transferred legally to a different person. The police should clearly explain that the person is now the legal owner and should not transfer/sell those guns to anyone without a valid FOID, including the original owner.

    The failure here is totally with the enforcement/follow-through of State and Local police. No need to create new laws that also will not be enforced.

  15. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    I think we could resolve some of the issue with the fingerprints by requiring ISP to provide the service at the Regional HQ’s. I would think that’s a minimal cost to the state but removes a more significant cost to the applicant. That and making it clear the applicant only has to provide prints once should make it more palatable.

    Not a fan of the 10fold increase in cost when the funds were swept not that long ago or the doubling the workload by halving the expiration (they can’t keep up now).

  16. - Nameless - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:51 am:

    @Mason born

    I don’t believe there is a family exception……I’m pretty sure even when selling to a family member that you’re still responsible for verifying FOID & wait the required waiting period.

    But you are correct, that IL is essentially a universal background check state already based on the requirement of the seller to verify the FOID of the buyer ensure that the buy is legally allowed to purchase/own the gun.

  17. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:01 pm:


    If you go to the ISP page it links tot he statute which lists family as exempt for Gifts. So you don’t need an ISP check to give your grandson a shotgun or your wife a pistol.

    technically it’s gift not sale but practically i’d call it the same myself.

  18. - We've never had one before - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    I certainly see a lot of effort/lip service to assign mandates or fixed fee services to the FFLs that we didn’t run out of business already with the IL GDLA.

  19. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===A 2019 Tribune investigation found that as many as 30,000 guns were potentially in the hands of people who’d had their FOID cards revoked in the previous four years.===

    How did they come to that conclusion? You can have a FOID card without owning a gun. You can own 100 guns with a single FOID card. The only way to reach that conclusion would be to conduct a survey of the guns per FOID cardholder, but then you have to be careful about sample bias, and you should report the margin of error or confidence interval rather than a single result.

  20. - Todd - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 12:28 pm:


    It’s normally $30 give or take for printing by most vendors. The FBI background check runs another $28 to $30 so you look at $70 to $75 for a FOID just to own or possess a firearm in exercising your rights

    A judge in southern Illinois found $10 to be akin to a poll tax soi think the $75 is a bridge to far as is fingerprints

    But we’ll see with 3 cases pending at the state Supreme Court I like our chances. And then we have the New York case at scotus and should they give us a strict scrutiny standard of review on ownership possession and a few other parts of the RKBA the FOID card is on barrowed time

  21. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===if you are in court say for a domestic and you are told to turn over guns there out to be a short date for person to bring in guns===

    How would you ensure compliance? What if they had no guns to begin with? What if they had 3 guns but turn in 2? What if they “gift” it to a sibling and 2 weeks later it is “gifted” back?

    Let’s be honest. Without requiring every gun to have a unique serial number that is associated to an individual owner, similar to a VIN for cars, and requiring certification of that ownership, this is all a waste of effort. If we had that sort of gun registry, we could track down straw buyers and their enablers with ease.

    The challenge is the fear that the government could use that registry to suppress gunowners, but maybe the government does not get bulk access to the registry. Maybe the ISRA could run the system, and they maintain the encryption keys. Every time someone is a party to a gun transaction, they could be asked to recertify their list of guns. ISRA could also contact gunowners every 3-5 years to recertify if they have not done so recently. The ISP can request the records of a single person or a single serial number, and they pay ISRA a lookup fee that reimburses ISRA for running the service. There would be no cost to the gunowner for this system, but they would be required to participate or follow the current FOID process.

    Does that sufficiently serve the public need without imposing on constitutional or privacy rights?

  22. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:16 pm:

    @Thechampaignlife you are absolutely correct maybe guns should be encoded like bit coins. Ever know who owns it but is trackable some how. I am sure this is a multi million dollar idea. To bad I have no clue

  23. - Todd - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    Champaign life.

    Chicago used a registry to enact a gun ban

    Cali used a registry to outlaw more semi~autos

    The overwhelming majority of gun owners will not support a registry as you suggest I certainly won’t comply it is none of the governments business what I own

  24. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    yes, background checks including for all family, jeez some of my family scares me, yes, with guns. make it mandatory, enforce it, check it. I’m familiar with a recent incident where someone sold guns to a big dealer and the dealer did not even check for a FOID card of the gun owner. FOID card could have been obtained legally but in the meantime the gun owner could have done something illegal. check. check. check.

  25. - We've never had one before - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    >>>>Cali used a registry to outlaw more semi~autos

    Cali used their registry to confiscate some semi-autos after being registered in good faith.

  26. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    @Todd: Exactly why I proposed that the government would not maintain the list, nor have bulk access to it. They could only look up a single individual or a single gun, and they pay a fee to do so. I suppose you could go one step further and require them to get a warrant. But the idea is that a list is maintained by a trusted protector of privacy, while facilitating removal of the bad actors who fence guns.

  27. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    I say that as a gunowner myself. One who just last night had a shootout half a block from his house. I want those guns gone, but I want responsible owners to be able to continue to enjoy shooting sports, hunt, and defend themselves.

  28. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===A judge in southern Illinois found $10 to be akin to a poll tax … .===

    Being logical, that same judge should use the same reasoning to oppose voter ID laws …

  29. - Elmer Keith - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Progress on gun control that is not opposed by ISRA? What’s the holdup?” It’s typical for ISRA to support crummy gun laws. This creates job security for the IL gun lobbies to “fix” their monstrosities later on.

    To understand the mentality of the gun hicks, you would have to lower your IQ by at least 40 points and grovel to police unions like Richard Pearson does. One look at Pearson’s “performance” in Brandon Phelps’ concealed carry bill in 2013 is evidence that the use of Bryl Cream causes brain damage. All ISRA knows how to do is lose. Who’s on the ISRA secret good old boys board nowdays?

  30. - Todd - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    Anyone if voter id laws are wrong then so is the FOID. I agree it’s either you need an id to vote or nothing more than a drivers license to buy a gun or state Id

    Champaign _. I don’t care who you want to put in charge of it NO the current FOID bill Isra went neutral on requires gun buyers to file paperwork with FFLs. As an FFL I won’t accept it I won’t do it and keep someone else’s records.

    We all want the bad guys rid f weapons but a registry won’t do it it didn’t stop the murder rate in chicago during the ‘90s when they had it. And I’ll be clear I will not register one magazine one part one firearm not for free or any other way with this state

  31. - Crispy Critter - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 3:55 pm:

    Been a year since my foid renewal application and I am told by ISP that I must carry a copy of the paper they sent me that I have applied to be able to buy ammo. What if the dealer does not trust my letter?

  32. - JDuc - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 4:15 pm:

    13 months since my CCL renewal and “still under review”. That was sent in with fingerprints. FOID will be coming up for renewal in September, that probably will take at least 12 months for them to “process”. The whole system is broken and a complete joke. In Wisco we buy ammo and don’t need any FOID. As a property owner we don’t need a silly FOID either, they crack up when we talk about it. Eliminating FOID altogether makes the most sense. It’s useless, and it would free up the ISP to process our CCL’s in a lawful timeframe.

  33. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 5:03 pm:


    ISP is constantly checking the NICS system on existing FOIDS they don’t just run it once. So it is a background check. As for family the point is since you are extremely close you will know whether that person should or should not have a firearm making the background check superflous. with respect.

  34. - Bob - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 5:25 pm:

    In 1966 I was fingerprinted when I joined ROTC in college.So the Federal Government has a set.Six years ago i was printed again so I could become a substitute teacher.So the State of Illinois has a set of my prints.Now a proposed law would require I do it again to be able to renew my gun card.Why can’t the Illinois Government use the first two sets?

  35. - low level - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 5:33 pm:

    Fingerprinting is a bad idea as is the overall FOID system. I doubt the feds still have your prints, Bob.

  36. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 8:48 pm:

    For those too young to remember, in 1968 the FOID (registering the gun owner) was a compromise because they couldn’t get enough votes to require a state registry of every firearm by brand, model, and serial number.

    A state wide gun registry is almost as much a third rail to politicians here as taxing retirement income. It could happen but it isn’t likely.

  37. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 10, 21 @ 11:06 pm:

    == I doubt the feds still have your prints ==

    When first hired by the State, I had to give the IBI and FBI my fingerprints so they could do a background check due to the sensitive nature of some of the data I would have access to. 50 years later, I suspect the FBI still have those fingerprints somewhere.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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