State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is bringing attention to the ongoing delays within the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card processing system.
“My office has received hundreds of calls from frustrated citizens whose FOID cards have expired, and who have been waiting for months for their renewals,” said Sen. Syverson. “While we were able to work with the administration to adopt emergency rules to help firearm owners with expired FOID cards amid the ongoing pandemic, gun owners are still encountering the issue of stores not selling arms or ammunition without a valid FOID card and other states not accepting expired licenses.”
According to the Illinois State Police (ISP), it takes an average of 121 days to process new FOID card applications and 145 days to process CCL applications. Renewals are taking significantly longer.
Sen. Syverson notes that Illinois is an outlier among many states, requiring gun owners to obtain a FOID card when most other states do not.
“I have worked with other like-minded legislators to advocate for commonsense reforms to a system that is clearly not working,” said Sen. Syverson. “Unfortunately, under this Administration, efforts have been focused on placing even more restrictions on law-abiding citizens rather than protecting our Second Amendment rights. Our focus should be on those who break the law, not those who follow the law.”
The Illinois State Police have said that the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau was confronted with a massive work increase this year, with FOID card application requests increasing 167% from 2017.
“I want to thank State Police Director Kelly and his staff who have worked diligently to operate under current demands and under budget constraints to address as quickly as possible the backlog of renewals facing our state,” said Sen. Syverson. “We have more than one million more FOID holders in Illinois than just 10 years ago, and are approaching 350,000 CCL holders. This increase has caused an unprecedented work load for ISP.”
ISP has announced continued efforts being implemented to confront the growing workload, including hiring additional firearms eligibility analysts in February and employing additional temporary contractors to meet the continued demand.
“I applaud Director Kelly for working to address this ongoing backlog and am hopeful that these steps will finally get our program up-to-date in the coming year,” said Sen. Syverson.