The Loooonnnnngggggg Wait

Are you one of the thousands of Illinois residents still waiting on your FOID? Have you not applied for your FOID yet? Better get on that, average time right now is 150 days.

ISP says it authorized hiring 32 more firearms eligibility analysts in February and hired more temporary contractors. So far, it has only hired 21 of those full-time positions and the other 11 plan to start in January. It added 19 more contract employees and moved 7 sworn officers over to handle the surge. ISP adds that it modernized its call center and online access as well.

It says the average time to process a FOID application is 121 days and the average time for a concealed carry license is 145 days.

“These outcomes are unacceptable to the ISP,” it said in a Facebook post.

Illinois House Republicans say their constituents fear they are breaking state gun laws because they can’t apply or renew their FOID cards in time.

Some Illinois residents have waited up to a year to receive their cards, well over the 121-day average. House republicans plan to pass a proposal to eliminate the FOID card next year, however a similar bill has been brought up and failed in past sessions. Illinois is one of only four states to require one.

Illinois State Police say they have seen an unprecedented number of FOID applications and Concealed Carry applications. CCL holders grew from 90,301 in 2014 to 343,299 in 2020, according to ISP. FOID card holders grew from 1.2 million to 2.2 million in the last decade.

The Prtizker administration has blamed there not being enough funds to staff the Firearm Services Bureau, but that is a blatant lie, much like when everyone was throwing a fit over there being no money to get the Aurora shooters guns back.

Director Kelly used the lack of funding to advocate for SB1966 commonly referred to as the “Fix the FOID Act.”  This bill calls for fingerprinting all FOID and CCL applicants and increasing the FOID fee by 300%. Director Kelly indicated this legislation is needed as a result of the Aurora shooting that killed five on February 15, 2019. The shooter, Gary Martin, was a felon that had his FOID card revoked April 17, 2014 but inexplicably never had his FOID card confiscated or surrendered his weapons.

After analyzing a Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) report dated September 10, 2019, covering FY2015-FY2019, the Illinois State Rifle Association found that ISP has not been spending resources available to manage the FOID/CCL programs. 

Specifically, the ISRA found:

  • In the Firearm Services Fund from FY2015-2019 ISP spent on average $7,474,500 per year.  They did not utilize an additional $9,376,563 per year available (over 125% unspent funds).
  • These unspent funds do not include close to $29.5 million dollars that were swept to the general revenue fund. 
  • The Aurora shooter had his FOID card revoked on April 17, 2014. In fiscal year 2015 following the revocation, ISP had $17,245,691 available to manage the FOID and CCL program. They spent $5,966,901.
  • This figure does not include $11,000,000 in the ISP State Services fund that was swept that year into the General Revenue fund.

“We at ISRA believe that ISP has enough resources to complete its’ mission without asking law abiding firearm owners for more money or forcing citizens to be fingerprinted to exercise a constitutional right,” Pearson said. “Furthermore, the Pritzker Administration should launch an investigation as to why previous administrations did not staff the FOID and CCL programs effectively.  Was this understaffing just incompetence or something more nefarious?  Law-abiding firearm owners deserve answers.”

Source: Firearm enforcement programs crippled when financially-struggling Illinois swept funds – Illinois Review

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