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By an annoyed Illinoisan

Not to be too cynical, but could it be that the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the rest of the suburbanoids who want to continue to deny Illinois citizens their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms are using the state’s fiscal problems against gun owners? Are they counting on a lack of funds and the total incompetence of the Illinois State Police (ISP) in their administration of the firearms owners identification (FOID) cards? Have they thought it through to the extent that – gasp! – if concealed carry were somehow legalized in Illinois, the ISP would probably be in charge of the CCW paper chain, too, and would most likely botch that the same way they have botched FOIDs? . . .

In Illinois, a FOID card is required to purchase guns and ammo. In fact, you need one just to hold a gun or a cartridge in your hot little hand. Created by the FOID Act in 1968 “as a way to identify those persons eligible to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition,” it was part of a ‘public safety’ initiative. So how’s that been working out?

A FOID card costs residents $10.00 every 10 years. And since it was put into place, the legislature has had to force the staties to staff up in order to comply with the legal requirement that all applications be processed or denied within 30 days. Not that it’s done much good.

The big problem with the missed renewal deadlines is that current FOID holders who don’t receive their new card before the old one expires become instant criminals. All thanks to the utter incompetence and crushing bureaucracy of Illinois’ dedicated public servants.

In fact, the Auditor General of the State of Illinois looked at the ISP’s administration of the FOID Act and published its findings in April of 2012 in a concise, easy-to-read report.

A few nuggets from the synopsis:

“The effectiveness of the Illinois FOID card program operated by the ISP is limited in promoting and protecting the safety of the public. Our audit also found that:

  • The Illinois State Police’s Firearms Services Bureau did not approve all FOID cards in the required 30 days for the 903,139 applications received during 2008, 2009, and 2010. Over the three year period, 566,616 of 879,906 (64%) applications were approved within 30 days. In 2008, 40 percent of cards were approved within 30 days. The processing times improved to 80 percent in 2009 and decreased to 70 percent in 2010.
  • ISP did not deny all FOID card applications in the required 30 days. For applications received during 2008, 2009, and 2010, ISP denied 20,152. Over the three year period, 71 percent of the denied FOID cards were denied within the required 30 days.
  • During 2008, 2009, and 2010, the ISP recorded 21,212 reasons for revocations of FOID cards for 20,227 cardholders. ISP officials estimated that only 30 percent of revoked FOID cards are returned to ISP.
  • ISP did not have enough Customer Service Representatives to handle the volume of calls that are received by the Bureau related to the FOID card program. According to call logs provided by ISP, during the last quarter of 2010, 25,131 of 29,420 calls (85%) were not answered by ISP.
  • According to documentation provided by ISP, from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011, the State Police spent $526,919 on overtime for FOID card processing.

Did you catch that? On the 30-day requirement, the best they’ve done in the three year period was 70%. Oh, and 85% of the calls placed to the FOID black hole go unanswered. Your tax dollars at work.

But since the governor and legislature just pushed through a massive tax hike, surely some of the new revenue will go to fill the gaps in the FOID process, right? Don’t hold your breath. With over $8 billion in unpaid bills, the new tax revenue won’t even clear state’s outstanding payables, let alone go to shore up a program almost no one in state government wants anyway.

Of course, there’s a solution to all this. One that will not only solve the problem, but save the state millions of dollars in administrative costs — elimination of the laughable FOID requirement along with shall-issue concealed carry. Better yet, constitutional carry would save even more taxpayer money by zeroing out the red tape needed for a carry permit. Oh, and the side benefit to all Illinoisans, rich and poor, upstate or downstate, would be restoration of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

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  1. It took me about 6 weeks to get my FOID card…and I think the “suburbanoids” make up the highest percentage of gun owners and those who would like CC…it is those in Chicago proper and perhaps e. st.L who would not…

    • It’s always the big city folk (where CC would actually benefit the most) who whine.

      I moved from Chicago to Seattle area last year. Any suburb I open carry could give a rat’s @$$ that I am doing so. Go into Seattle, and GASP, that guy has a gun! Police follow you around, illegally stop and attempt to confiscate the weapon, etc.

      One thing I did notice out here is the difference in violent crimes peppering the morning news. Very rare to hear of a rape, armed robbery, or random shootings out here. Why? Because the baddies of the world have to ask themselves before they do dirt, “Do I feel lucky?” Illinois has outrageous violent crime stats, sort of like how New York does, and worse. Solution is clear. We all have it right. Grant citizens the right to be safe. Don’t want people gawking and wasting man-hours in the police departments? Screw open carry and just allow concealed. Personally, I hate Washington state. The PNW sucks. But, Chicagoland and the rest of Illinois could follow that state’s example, rake in some clean revenue for both the state AND local business, and make a safer society for the average citizen.

    • I am not sure there are enough people in East Saint Louis who would qualify for concealed carry; certainly not in City Hall.

      All take note, Madison County and Randolf County will not prosecute anyone (at this purgatory stage in time) for having a concealed weapon if the person has a FOID card, you know, the card that was made obsolete with instant background checks.

      • While we are at it, imagine if there were a state referendum: “Shall the City of Chicago be forever ejected from the State of Illinois?”

  2. If the people of Illinois really want to rattle their state legislature, about 100,000 of them should converge on Springfield and demonstrate peacefully to demand that Illinois recognize the right of all citizens (including citizens from other states who visit Illinois) to keep and bear arms.

  3. Enough of this. The numbers don’t lie, there are plenty of firearms owners in Illinois. March on your state capitol and burn the ****ing things like anti-war protesters did draft cards during Vietnam.

    Massive non-compliance makes the law meaningless, worthless, and unenforceable.

    • Is speech free? How about prayer or assembly. Making people pay and seek permission to exercise a constitutional right is unamerican and to hell with Illinois trampling on its citizens right it needs to go to DOJ for a civil liberties challenge.
      “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” seems quite infringing when you can become a criminal for having a simple bolt action hunting rifle.

  4. I once attempted to use my foid card as identification for renewing my licence or changing the address or such at the dmv… You would have thought I laid a hand grenade down on the table! I got an even worse attitude than usual for the rest of that visit, and they also did not accept it as a valid I’d 🙂

  5. You can become a felon simply because the ISP isn’t doing it’s job? The only sane way to handle this is to abolish the system requiring the foid card.

    Oh wait, this is barry’s boy rahm here. Yep, rahm, schumer, difi, the clinton’s. I guess sanity and humanity is asking a lot of that crowd.

  6. The problems with the system are a feature, not a bug, for the control freaks. That’s exactly what they want–the ability to turn good citizens into felons over paperwork.

    • Control is what our government is all about this is why they want to take our guns away so they can be the hunters and we can be the hunted. Without our guns we are nothing never forget that

  7. Illinois Constitution Article I, Section 22
    “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

  8. Reminds me of one of the reasons I’m so happy I don’t live in Chicago anymore. . .

    Some years ago my parents, who at the time lived in a farm in a rural area of the state about 90 miles from Chicago, had a break in. Since it was a rural area, when they reported it to the sheriff’s department a deputy actually came out to take a report. As my father put it, “Everything was routine until the cop spotted a shotgun behind the door. Then it was like he forgot why he was there. He asked if I had a FOID card and kept after me until I got it and showed it to him. Then it was like he was disappointed.”

    • Those are the kind of cops everyone hates.

      “Hey, I need your help. I’ve just been victimized.”

      “Oh, that’s too bad. Now let me see if I can find a reason to throw you in jail.”

  9. ….But since the governor and legislature just pushed through a massive tax hike, surely some of the new revenue….

    Kind of OT, but, a tax hike may not result in any increased revenue. In fact it may decrease due to businesses/individuals changing their habits/procedures. Generally tax hikes after a certain point (see the laffer curve) result in reduced economic activity and reduced revenues. CAs increasing taxes are pushing businesses and people out eliminating the taxes those businesses/individuals would have paid, the sales taxes on things they would have bought, the loss of jobs at businesses they would have dealt with…

  10. So, that ‘subject to the police power’ clause means people in gov’t are authorized by themselves to use the police to enforce laws violating the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms, and that ‘shall not be infringed part’ is the part that’s subject to reasonable police power restrictions?

    So how’s anyone supposed to know the difference between a dictatorship and a Constitutional Republic when the people in gov’t who are supposed to secure rights, ignore laws written in their own State Constitution, grant themselves powers the law states they don’t have, then write laws violating the rights declared in it…and police with guns, paid for by taxes on the people they’re supposed to be serving…enforce rights-violating laws?
    And the difference between a slave and a subject of gov’t is________?
    Confused and just asking.

  11. “and the rest of the suburbanoids who want to continue to deny Illinois citizens their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms are using the state’s fiscal problems against gun owners?”
    — So you believe it is all the fault of the “suburbanoids” and not that of Chicago residents? Who are the ones mostly or exclusively responsible for electing the anti-gun politicians in Chicago? Are the residents living in the suburbs of Niles, Winnetka, Broadview, and Ginger Creek the ones responsible?

    Illinois – (past Chicago) Mayor Daley Lays Out Strictest Gun Rules In The U.S. For Chicago

    “you need one (FOID card) just to hold a gun or a cartridge in your hot little hand”
    — It is that bad? A friend cannot shoot a .22 gun owned by a friend at a range?

    “current FOID holders who don’t receive their new card before the old one expires become instant criminals”
    — That sounds like an Illinois laws.

  12. Never let cops see your FOID if you have been stopped as it will be used as a reason to search you hard.

  13. Yes, folks, there have been at least two, possibly three individuals arrested for no valid FOID. Their FOID had expired and the ISP was over the 30 days in handling the renewal. Prosecutors still pursued charges.

    We’re looking for a few more anecdotal cases to point to when we come at them soon for the repeal of the FOID card.


  14. FOID sounds like one of the worst gun / ammo laws that I’ve ever seen, particularly when paired with the awesome inefficiency of the Illinois state government. If a large group of people got together and publicly burned their FOIDs, it might help Illinois to pull its head out of its a$$.

    • “If a large group of people got together and publicly burned their FOIDs, it might help Illinois to pull its head out of its a$$.”

      I want to burn my FOID card! <- Said no firearm possessing, FOID card holder, ever.

  15. I have lived in Illinois for most of my life and I’m surprised that the ISP doesn’t realize what kind of revenue this could bring for the state. The program should not only permit the purchase and possession of a firearm and ammo, but it should also allow you to CARRY one as well. By doing that, they can charge a little more on the application fee and everyone would be happy. Instead, we are paying up the a$$ just to keep the program afloat. What is the whole point of a this card if the state can’t even manage it well. A gang-banger doesn’t need a FOID card when they go shoot up a neighborhood and it makes headline news.

  16. That there FOID card has really been reducing those gang murders and crime in Chicago hasnt it, LOL!

  17. I mailed my FOID application in Dec 2012.
    The check was cashed on 1/25/2013.
    My FOID card just expired on 4/1/2012.
    So three months was not enough time.
    And, all calls to FOID number have terminated with no answer. And the email form on the state website has produced no email replies to my queries.
    I’m completely stuck, with no remedy.

  18. I’m going through the same thing right now. Actually I just got off the phone with them. They lostm application for renewal but cashed the check. I’ve sent emails with no returns and their almost impossible to yet ahold of on the telephone. My card expired on 4/1 as well. They are suppose to be having a supervisor call me back to tell me what to do but I’m not holding my breath.

  19. Everyone needs to quit talking about a protest and do it. I suggest 6/3/13. If no one shows up to protest the FOID and CC problem. Then quit complaining. See u in springfield

  20. This is the land of the free?

    The bank robber was going to rob the bank with a gun, but he had to go home for his foid first….

    The psycho couldn’t shoot his victim because they had no foid…

    these are things that never happen. It is absurdly ridiculous to think this is anything but a fascist police state power meant to track gun owners.

  21. The FOID is unconstitutional and obsolete due to instant background checks.

    A constitutional right means that you have a “right to” the activity unless by due process this right is withheld.
    The FOID card is obtained by asking “for permission” from the state with the state taking all the time it wants.
    A Class action suit is demanded in this case.
    Any lawyers on this forum want to go for it?

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