SPRINGFIELD- Noting the negative impact that the backlog of unprocessed FOID (Firearm Owners IDentification) card applications has had on people’s second amendment rights, State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has filed legislation to eliminate the state’s FOID program.
“FOID cards may have served a purpose in the days before comprehensive and often instant background checks were possible or feasible, but that’s not the case anymore,” said Senator Bailey. “The state has been unable or unwilling to keep up with FOID card applications, turning the program into a major roadblock for law-abiding gun owners. It’s time to void the FOID and restore people’s God-given constitutional rights.”
The FOID card was originally instituted to keep criminals and dangerous individuals from owning firearms. Applicants have to pass a background check to obtain a FOID card, and the card is required to purchase firearms.
In recent years, long wait times for FOID application approval have been a constant issue. Despite additional funding for the program as part of the launch of Concealed Carry in Illinois, the problem has returned. According to recent media reports, the state’s backlog for FOID card application processing is averaging 119 days.
Firearm purchases now also require a background check to be performed at the time of purchase, rendering the FOID process duplicative and unnecessary.
“It’s unacceptable to me to think someone would have to wait four months to be able to defend themselves and take part in their constitutional rights, especially when the FOID system no longer serves a real purpose,” said Bailey. “There is no point in requiring people to have had a background check already in place to get their FOID card, just to get another background check performed every time they purchase a gun.”
Bailey’s legislation, Senate Bill 1948, would repeal the FOID act and eliminate FOID requirements in other parts of state law. The bill is currently assigned to the Senate Executive Committee’s Firearms Subcommittee.