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Republicans say Pritkzer overlooked “gap” in FOID card review process

Thursday, Aug 18, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Capitol News Illinois

Officials from the Illinois State Police faced questioning Wednesday from Republican lawmakers who said the agency had authority to reject a gun permit application from a man who later allegedly carried out a mass shooting at a July 4 parade in Highland Park.

The alleged gunman, Robert Crimo III, is being held without bond on a 117-count indictment for the mass shooting that left seven dead and dozens more injured.

State Sen. John Curran, R-Downers Grove, criticized ISP for claiming that it had no authority to deny Crimo a Firearms Owners Identification, or FOID card, when he applied for one in December 2019, just three months after he had been the subject of a “clear and present danger” report filed by an individual who alleged Crimo had threatened to “kill everyone.”

“This report clearly, by any independent review, would meet the level of preponderance of the evidence,” Curran said. “It is clearly above the 50 percent threshold, more likely than not, that there (was) a threat of violence in that home.”

The questioning came during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a legislative panel that has oversight of the administrative rulemaking process.

* Tribune

According to state Sen. John Curran, what’s unclear, based on public statements by state police, is whether the agency, which is charged with overseeing firearm licensing, reviewed the Highland Park report or just discarded it when it was determined Crimo didn’t have a FOID card or pending application.

Curran, a Downers Grove Republican, raised the issue with state police officials Wednesday in his role as a member of the legislature’s bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

The panel was reviewing an emergency rule change state police announced in the wake of the Highland Park shooting that seeks to clarify the agency’s ability to retain such reports even if the subject doesn’t have a FOID card or a pending application. The agency would be able to use the reports in evaluating future applications.

State police also are drafting a permanent rule to address the issue, but Curran said lawmakers can’t consider whether such a change is adequate unless they fully understand what happened in the Highland Park case.

* Sen. Rezin…

Illinois Senate Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) released the following statement after the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved an administrative rule that makes changes to the FOID card system’s review process:

“Today’s rule change makes it clear to everyone that the Pritzker Administration accepts the fact that it had the authority and ability to enforce and strengthen our state’s existing laws and rules, which the Governor himself promised to do over three years ago.

“We all recognize the vital importance of keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals, and it is infuriating to learn that our state had the ability to prevent the Highland Park shooter from obtaining a FOID card if it wasn’t for the Administration tying its hands with its own rules.

“The fact of matter is it took a horrific act of senseless violence for the Governor’s Administration to acknowledge this reality and keep the promise he made to the people of Illinois.”

* Sen. DeWitte…

On Wednesday, a new administrative rule was brought before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) that strengthens the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system and its use of clear-and-present-danger reports. In response to the promulgation of the new rule, State Senator and JCAR member Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) issued the following statement:

“Today, I supported the new rule that strengthens the FOID card review process to prevent dangerous individuals from legally purchasing or possessing firearms. The Pritzker Administration’s purported review of the FOID card process following the Aurora shooting in 2019 failed to recognize this gap in the interpretation and application of clear-and-present-danger reports submitted to the ISP. Had the Pritzker Administration done what they said they were going to do, which was to review and make sure laws already on the books were being implemented more effectively, the tragedy in Highland Park might never have occurred. Local police in Highland Park did their due diligence to alert the State Police of this individual, but because of the gap, which was overlooked in the Pritzker Administration, the report was discarded.”

* ISP today…

The Illinois State Police (ISP) conducted a firearms enforcement blitz with details in all 102 counties across the state from June 16 through July 31, 2022. The enforcement details are designed to ensure those who have had their firearm rights revoked are in compliance with the Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) Act.

“Once again, our ISP officers are making Illinois safer by getting dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Since 2019, ISP has executed hundreds of details—placing thousands of individuals in compliance with the FOID Act. Last month’s firearm enforcement blitz is another example of the ways that ISP is preventing gun violence and protecting our communities. I want to thank Director Kelly for his leadership and the rest of the ISP team for their hard work.”

“The ISP continues to aggressively enforce our laws to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those posing a significant threat to themselves or others,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Through these enforcement details, our impact on this key factor in gun violence continues to strengthen.”

During the enforcement blitz, ISP completed 201 details statewide consisting of 1,716 compliance checks. As a result of these efforts, 1,014 individuals were placed into compliance by surrendering their FOID Cards, transferring all firearms out of their possession, and completing a Firearm Disposition Record. ISP completed 63 details in northern Illinois (Zones 1, 2, and 3) consisting of 421 compliance checks resulting in 223 individuals placed into compliance.

“We commend the Illinois State Police for working to ensure that individuals whose FOID cards have been revoked are following the law and transferring their firearms,” said Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. “I dedicated a unit to this important work nearly a decade ago, and we are committed to working with ISP to help to keep our communities safe.”

ISP began conducting enforcement details in May 2019.

       

8 Comments
  1. - G'Kar - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 12:37 pm:

    I’m confused. I thought Republicans, led by their standard bearer Beetle, want to get rid of the FOID card altogether. Now they want more rules concerning it? /s


  2. - Commissar Gritty - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    I came here to comment what G’Kar said, but knew in my heart it had already been said.


  3. - Anonymusings - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    So, the group that believes the FOID is unconstitutional and wants it repealed is upset because they don’t think the FOID process was stringent enough?


  4. - fs - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==Now they want more rules concerning it==

    Politicians are known to be a lot of things. Consistent in their arguments and beliefs in an election year is not one of those things, of course.

    Politics and tragedy aside, I just don’t see anything in these articles that would absolutely make it certain this report holds up to any reasonable scrutiny. An accusation of something said in the house, that the parents brushed off and denied, with the father also signing off for the foid card. No arrest. No admission. Not even any treatment sought that we know of. Just words alleged that the family then basically denied was ever really a threat. And nothing that the officer seemed to be worth doing much for except writing a report of who said what. There should’ve been more to stop this person on the front end, but that should’ve been well before anything reached the State for review. “See something, say something” isn’t enough in these situations, especially when you retract what you say. Where you know the person isn’t right of mind, you need to see something, do something. Especially the family.


  5. - Hemi345 - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    Or is it simply a matter that the republicans are pointing out that had the existing laws been enforced maybe this tragedy would not have happened. We do not need additional laws what we really need is existing laws enforced


  6. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 2:14 pm:

    GOP strategy on FOID has consistently been that its toothless and useless and barely enforced and thus should be repealed. The comments above from them are more aimed at pointing up FOID shortcomings than really fixing it, but cognitive dissonance, or the appearance of it, is nothing new in the GOP.

    Secondarily, some of them might be trying to play to a wider voter base by seeming to lean into gun safety without having to push gun control. Progressive dems aren’t ever going to talk hard right red-hats into gun control, but if you change the issue to gun *safety*, it changes the dynamic from “they’s trying to grab yer gunz” to “that guy should have never been allowed a gun in the first place”.

    I guarantee you every gun owner and range rat knows one person that fits that category - they just don’t often want to admit it, and would be happier if someone else took care of that potential problem on their behalf.


  7. - TheDudeAbides - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    The ISP is still understaffed as far as employees assigned to handling FOID card issues. My FOID card expires in September. I applied for my new card on April 21st. I received my new card this past Saturday.


  8. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Aug 18, 22 @ 3:48 pm:

    “That law needs to be repealed — and it’s not enforced enough‼”

    – MrJM


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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