For most of us, applying for a FOID card is a simple affair. For others, it’s an (unconstitutional) burden upon their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. The Illinois State Police doesn’t make it one bit easy for those whose initial application has been denied. Or for those who have been revoked or suspended for a host of reasons.
And frankly, this could be you, or me. If you use deadly force in self-defense, expect that your FOID card will be revoked until the case plays out in court. And that can take months. Many months.
Then you’ll have to avail yourself to (literally) beg for our overlords at ISP Headquarters to issue a new FOID card. In the meantime, you’ll be without the legal use of the most effective means of self-defense.
While the Illinois State Police seems to have a really hard time processing FOID renewals in a timely manner, if you’re arrested on any one of a thousand different charges, you can expect your pals at ISP to revoke your card within hours. And notify you via mail within a few days at most.
Get hit with a Red Flag order or a conventional ex parte emergency order of protection? After the initial orders are dismissed, good luck getting that FOID card restored. You’ll have to send them notarized statements, court documentation out the wazoo and then maybe, when they are good and ready a couple of seasons later (seasons as in spring, summer, fall, winter), they might restore your FOID card.
Lose your card because of DUI-related reasons, or mental health treatment reasons? Expect to have to send character references, a doctor’s evaluation, and plenty of pretty pleases and then they might issue a replacement card when they are good and ready.
Illinois FOID Act also says the ISP SHALL (not “may”) restore your firearms rights for reformed felons after 20 years, providing the applicant no longer poses a risk to themselves or the community. Yeah, this one will often take upwards of years – literally – to process.
And even then, they can “foul” that up. After you’ve waited patiently for five years for them to process a restoration of rights as a reformed felon, you get your rights restored under law and your shiny new FOID card. Then, months later when you submit your carry license application, they then send you a terse letter saying the newly restored FOID card is hereby revoked because you have a felony conviction. And oh, by the way, you have 48 hours to surrender your firearms and your FOID card.
All this will change under Representative Dan Caulkins’ HB-4591.
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that, except as otherwise provided by law, the Director of State Police shall act upon a request for relief from the denial, revocation, or seizure of a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card within 60 business days of receipt of documentation as required by the Director from the person whose application for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card has been denied or whose Firearm Owner’s Identification Card has been revoked or seized.
Here’s where you can help. He needs some Democrat representatives to sign on as co-sponsors. Along with some Republicans.
Clearly, a right delayed is a right denied. For all of us.
Contact your State Rep. by phone or in writing a short, simple letter. Ask them to co-sponsor this bill. ESPECIALLY if you have a pro-gun downstate Democrat as a state representative. Constituent calls and letters (especially non-form letters) are a powerful thing. Don’t underestimate their effectiveness.
With bipartisan support, perhaps we can pull this bill out of Rules (where it was sent within minutes of filing, thank you Michael Madigan) and get a real committee hearing.
Again, this could be your problem pretty easily in this state.