State of Illinois. ISP Firearm Services Bureau.
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Illinois politicians claim that law-abiding gun owners need extensive licensing to keep their fellow residents safe from gun crime. The fees from these licensing regimes, they tell us, are dedicated to funding the Illinois State Police’s enforcement of these schemes.

If you guessed that the Illinois State Police’s Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) is as broke as the rest of the state, you failed that pop quiz.

In fact, the ISP’s FSB has enjoyed a tsunami of cash since Illinois implemented its pricey concealed carry licensing program. Now if you guessed that in the famously corrupt state of Illinois the revenue has consistently been misappropriated for other uses, then your cynicism is well-founded.

The Land of Lincoln’s carry license application fee stands at $153 and change for residents.  Of that, per the Firearms Concealed Carry Act:

$120 shall be apportioned to the State Police Firearm Services Fund, $20 shall be apportioned to the Mental Health Reporting Fund, and $10 shall be apportioned to the State Crime Laboratory Fund

Multiply that times hundreds of thousands of applications, and that quickly adds up to real money.

So, how did Illinois State Police spend that money? In short, they didn’t. The Moms At Arms blog has done some great investigative reporting on this.

Courtesy State of Illinois.

Of just the Firearm Service Fund, meant to fund the Firearm Services Bureau, less than 13% of the expenditure authority monies were spent in 2014. In fact, for the three years 2014 to 2016 combined, the FSB only spent about one quarter ($15,875,735) of the $61,153,400 authorized.

2018 doesn’t look a lot better, with the Illinois State Police spending less than half of collected fees to administer the gun owner licensing schemes.

Courtesy the State of Illinois.

What’s more, the Firearms Services Bureau remains inadequately staffed to handle its duties. For instance, the FSB has about fifteen call-takers to handle the customer service hotline. They receive many thousands of calls each day.

How do they handle all those callers? They don’t.

Once their queue reaches four of five people waiting on hold, they issue subsequent callers a message that they are receiving a high call volume. And then their computer ends the call.

Try it. 217 782-7980. (Hint:  Press ‘0’ to reach someone to handle concealed carry or FOID issues.)

What’s more, The Illinois Times exposed a raft of problems within the Firearm Services Bureau in a recent story.

The ickiness started in 2013, when Christina Hibbert, an Illinois State Police employee assigned to the Firearms Service Bureau that issues firearm owners identification cards and concealed-carry permits, began an affair with Master Sergeant Anthony McClure.

They were not discreet. Someone once spotted McClure standing between Hibbert’s spread legs as she sat in an office chair while he rubbed his crotch. Early on, Hibbert reportedly told a coworker that she and the master sergeant were having sex inside headquarters.

While the Illinois Times focused on the raunchy sex-in-the-workplace angle, their story exposed all manner of problems within the Firearms Service Bureau.

The coworker would later testify that the Firearms Service Bureau was no fun: Morale was low, stress was high, there weren’t enough employees, it was taking more than four months to issue FOID cards that were supposed to go out in 30 days and McClure and Hibbert took lunches as long as two hours. Overtime was mandatory, and some overworked employees didn’t appreciate trysts that were so obvious that when someone once asked another where McClure and Hibbert were, another employee guessed they were probably having sex, according to investigative files.

Yet plenty of unspent money exists, as shown by the tens of millions of dollars the state has hoovered up in gun licensing fees.

Meanwhile, last year Rep. Kathleen Willis proposes hiking the FOID application fees by 400% in order to fund Illinois State Police enforcement activities. As if the ISP were broke.

From Michael Bloomberg’s The Trace:

Illinois Democrats who want to strengthen the state’s gun owner licensing program inched closer to victory this week after the House advanced legislation to close gaps exposed by February’s mass shooting in Aurora. But the bill’s proponents must still overcome objections from members of their party worried about the effects of ratcheting up license fees.

Aurora Illinois Pratt Shooting
The Henry Pratt Company where a “gun free” sign failed to stop a spree killer in 2018. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The overhaul’s primary sponsor, Representative Kathleen Willis, a Democrat from Northlake, left a committee hearing on May 21 intent on making revisions after her colleagues raised concerns about increasing the price of a Firearm Owners Identification card, the license needed to legally possess guns in Illinois, from $10 to $50. The revenues would fund a new State Police task force charged with investigating revoked license holders who failed to surrender their firearms, offset State Police administrative costs, and pay for state-run mental health programs.

So Rep. Kathleen Willis, who already has a reputation for playing fast and loose with the truth when it comes to guns, says the ISP needs more money to carry out its duties. This when they aren’t spending the money they already have.

Not only that, but the Moms At Arms blog has also uncovered that the ISP personnel failed to properly allocate (page 55) the early revenue stream.

Department personnel stated the receipts initially could not be deposited due to not knowing the breakdown of how much to deposit in each of the three funds involved.

Because they couldn’t read the law?

What’s next from Kathleen Willis? Is she going to tell us with a straight face that strict gun control laws have kept Chicago residents safe for generations?

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    • The unspent monies were transferred to the General Fund.

      And note that they only spent less than 10% of the money set aside for mental health reporting… I guess mental health issues aren’t so important.

      • “They were not discreet. Someone once spotted McClure standing between Hibbert’s spread legs as she sat in an office chair while he rubbed his crotch. Early on, Hibbert reportedly told a coworker that she and the master sergeant were having sex inside headquarters.”

        For anyone curious as to what the skank looks like :

        Let’s just say she was “getting a little behind in her work”… 😉

  1. And people wonder why I’m against government mandated training; its never about training or safety, its about generating revenue. Revenue that will never be used appropriately… unless its used for confiscation enforcement it seems.

    • You forgot one other essential feature: It’s also about generating obstacles. Keeping little people like you ‘n me away from the privileges the rich and connected can enjoy.

  2. Great article. I think we have similar issues in FL, not sure about concealed licenses but I tried to get in touch with the FL Dept of Agriculture (they handle CCW, hunting, security licenses, private investigator…) and never got an answer. I contacted them about an issue with my security license, out of maybe 5 phone calls I was able to talk to a human being once, who said I’d have to call another department and when I tried they never answered and apparently completely disregarded my voicemail. I also sent a letter, never got an answer. I was considering contacting my Representative but I gave up. The irony is another Stage agency screwed up to begin with, the FDLE (Fl Dept of Law Enforcement) apparently informed the Dept of Agriculture I got arrested and charged with a felony (which never happened and it’s very unlikely someone had an identical name and DOB), which caused my security license to be suspended. I went to my local Sheriff’s Office and obtained a copy of my clean criminal record, mailed it with tracking, again never got any update. This rant mad end realize I better check on my CCW license, if these incompetent morons think I got jailed for a felony they technically should have suspended that as well. Wish me luck.

  3. What is more frustrating about all of this (I am in illinois) is that people don’t learn there lesson from this. I still see gun owners advocate mandatory training and licensing even if just for concealed carry. They think the right people can do it better.

    It’s the same issue as socialism eventually someone you don’t like will be in charge or someone incompetent and it will become a nightmare. Illinois is full of those nightmares. The only direction gun owners should support is repeal, abolish, and prevent all laws relating to weapons and arms.

    If gun owners were solid 2a supporters we would never have these issues.

    • Problem is most are stupid and believe in govt. I am one of the rare freaks who never did even as a child and while i got some severe beatings for it stood up to parents when i did not agree with them. Most of the time the beatings did not make me tow the line either. I did accept the beatings when i knew i was in the wrong though but not when i was not.
      the last time my parents tried to raise a hand to me dad was threatening to throw a rock (about palm size) at me. I was carrying his rifle back up to the house at the time. instead of the rifle being pointed almost at my toes while talking to someone I had unconsciously brought it level but 45 degrees away from him still with nothing in the chamber. the look in my eyes told him that if he threw the rock i would stand there and take it no matter how much it hurt but he would end up dead. he dropped the rock and never raised a hand to me again.
      i have always had the same attitude with all authority figures.

    • They should fire every one working there and hire ONLY people that have a FOID and CCL cards. Then maybe something would get done.

      • Actually they should hire homeless people, let them stay at the office, 24 seven human phone answerers. Cut the back log way down. Also hire people on foodstamps, they know how to work the system.

  4. I live in Illinois and CC. I see nothing wrong with what the article is alleging. Little known fact: The state flag has an eagle SPREAD EAGLE……how much more sexual innuendo do u need.

  5. Again, the MSM has failed to tell us about this. If it weren’t for the internet, we wouldn’t know any of this. Just like “All the lottery money will go to the schools” It doesn’t.

  6. When I moved out of IL in 2011 while driving south over the Ohio river I rolled downed the window, stuck my fist out the window, with a one finger salute, and mother***** by name all the corrupt City, County, and State criminals I have despised for so long. I was well into Kentucky before I was done. The only reason to go back is to visit Homewood for an Aurilleo’s pizza.

  7. “Life in the fast lane”…


    “Land of Lincoln”…..


    Home to Al Capone….

    What is there to say that hasn’t been said, already?

  8. I sent in the renewal for my Illinois CCW in early August and website still shows processing on December 4. Law says I can still CCW since I applied before it expired but man it is taking a long time. Looks like they have the funds to increase staff substantially but I would not bet on it.

    • Money not spent renewing permits promptly goes into the general (i.e. slush) fund where they can spend it however they want instead of where it’s supposed to be spent.

    • NSW was so known for processing delays, we would stop all shooting activities from the date your license expired to when you had your new license. Even though legally you could continue to use your firearms after your license had expired and your reapplication was in process, we just didn’t want to take the risk with an @$$hat cop who thinks they know and are THE LAW.

      Thankfully they’ve much improved. Especially as without any firearm owners they have no reason to exist and would be out of a job.

      • It does make me a bit uncomfortable having an expired CCW permit even though the law is supposedly on my side for the very reason you state – an LEO who does not know the law. I keep a picture on my phone of the application “in processing” but still an ignorant LEO could certainly make for a bad day for me, cost me some money, confiscate my weapon,, and no apology when I was found in the right. It is infuriating that Illinois does not allow us to even apply for renewal until 90 days before permit expires.

  9. 190+ days and waiting for my IL CCW application to be okayed. With prints. Zero priors, no tickets on file. Yep.

  10. Not surprised,shocked or befuddled. ILLinois sux. I live here and it’s going to he!! I hope we can do a lateral move to Hoosierland-GODS country. I already spend most of my $ there. The only gunbucks I spend in ILLinois is Shoot Point Blank range in Mokena. Not counting FOID or licensing BS…

  11. Thank you, John, for helping make this more known. This is something that needs to be addressed. There is NO NEED for increased fees in FOID or CCL and anyone who says so is a liar. Proof is all there. Would love to see an audit of the Firearms Services Fund…….

    • And what was it, 2 other governors in recent history convicted felons that served time in the state penitentiary?

      I bet a pretty boy like Blago had a fun time getting his prison ‘initiation’, right up his… *snicker* 😉

  12. Since FOID and CCW permit holders are constantly run through background checks, why does it take so long for a renewal?
    Things don’t add up. But it is Illinois.

  13. Chicago, the town I love. I grew up there, saw my first civilian killing there at Indiana and Fifty-first St. Up on a scaffold tuck pointing the church there. Young boy with an alley apple chasing another young boy who had a .22 pocket rocket. Rocket boy run behind big elm tree, apple boy run right up to tree. Rocket boy jumps out from behind tree, snaps a cap right on apple boy’s noggin. Taps and long dirt nap for young lad with the brick. Gun guy kicks his Keds into high gear and probably ten blocks away before the cops arrive.
    Another reason I love that City is cause me and a few buds used to go down to the cemetery every time Daly was elected Mayor cause dad always said the Daly machine would raise the dead. We sure wanted to see them ghosties walking down Madison Ave.
    The remaining reason I love Chicago is I left there and Il. fifty or more years ago and ain’t been back since.

    • What the sam hill are you talking about? You’d DIE if you went to 51st & Indiana. Even 50 years ago after the riots…now even quicker white boy😏

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