Staggering. That describes the crush of people applying to become gun owners via the Land of Lincoln’s FOID card scheme. Over 42,000 in 17 days, to give folks a better idea of the raw numbers. That’s even more than the number of people leaving this state in that time!
The Chicago Tribune posted an article about the deluge the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau has found themselves trying to process. Some key paragraphs:
But with a wave of crises crashing across the country, more than 40,000 Illinoisans applied for a gun permit in a little more than two weeks this month, more than 500% over this time last year, according to Illinois State Police.
They usually have 500-600 per week, to put that into perspective.
And it’s not just FOID applications. They are buried on background checks at the time of gun sales as well!
The firearms services bureau of the Illinois State Police is taking an average of 94 business hours — not counting holidays, weekends, the day the gun is purchased, or the day the sale is approved or denied — to process background checks, roughly a day longer than usual, according to state police spokeswoman Beth Hundsdorfer.
Uh, someone needs to buy Beth a clue: background checks at the time of sale usually take seconds in normal times.
Back to FOIDs (sorry for jumping around, but I’m taking the paragraphs as the Tribune published them).
From June 1 to June 17, there were more than 42,000 applications for FOID cards, compared with about 7,000 during the same time last year, a 501% increase.
The 42,089 applications over those 17 days come close to the 48,194 applications submitted in the months of December, January and February combined. Applications reached nearly 5,000 on a single day in June.
And ammo has been flying off the shelves as well.
Dan Eldridge, owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Range in Des Plaines, said nearly half the customers clamoring for appointments these days appear to be first-time buyers.
“The numbers I saw from the National Shooting Sports Foundation … said 40% of respondents to (store) surveys were new, first-time buyers. And of those, 40% are female — 40% of the 40%,” Eldridge said. “We’re tracking 150% of a typical May in firearms sales … and that’s with being open by appointment only.”
But those aren’t the numbers he found surprising.
“One stat that jumped out at me was defensive ammunition,” he said. “You have two flavors of ammo, practice — or range — and self-defense, hollow-point, which is much more expensive. We saw May 2020 over May 2019 firearms sales were twice as high and defensive ammunition was 10 times as high.
Defensive ammo sales is through the roof.
Yeah, we hadn’t noticed.
Go read the Trib story. It’s LONG but a pretty good read.