Recently, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) received dozens of phone calls from firearm owners who are waiting a month or more to have applications for Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards processed by the Illinois State Police.
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According to ISRA, “Under Illinois law, persons wishing to purchase or possess firearms and/or ammunition must hold a valid FOID card. To obtain a FOID card, one must complete an official application form and submit the form along with a recent photo and the required fee to the Illinois State Police for processing. Once issued, a FOID card is valid for 10 years. Upon expiration, the application process must be repeated. Persons who possess firearms or ammunition without holding a valid FOID card are subject to arrest and felony prosecution.”
Illinois law requires that, within 30 days of the application date, the State Police must either issue a FOID or provide written notification as to why an application was turned down. “ISRA representatives were told by State Police officials that inadequate staffing and funding were to blame for the slowdown in application processing. Those same officials were unable to say when, if ever, the situation would improve.”
“This is a very serious situation,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “By failing to process FOID renewals in a timely manner, the Illinois State Police are, in effect, denying the applicant's right to own firearms. Without a valid FOID, an otherwise law-abiding citizen cannot hunt, go to the target range, or even continue to own their lawfully-acquired firearms.”