Each year, the Illinois State Police solicit grant requests from law enforcement agencies around the state to perform “firearm enforcement” activities. Translation: the ISP pays for local LEOs to conduct “compliance checks”…confiscating guns from those who fall out of compliance with the Illinois FOID Act.

While this story isn’t the time or place to debate the constitutionality of the FOID scheme (and Guns Save Life has a lawsuit challenging it awaiting a court ruling), here are some raw numbers.

According to a February 24th press release from the ISP, 30 agencies accepted the grants in 2022 to conduct these confiscations. The agencies conducted 1,115 firearm enforcement checks (call it about three dozen per agency over the entire year). They found guns with 472 of those individuals and “brought them into compliance.”

From the ISP press release . . .

The enforcement details focus on individuals who have become the subject of a Firearm Restraining Order or Clear and Present Danger, or received a criminal conviction, among other reasons.

“Among other reasons…” such as an expired FOID card.

The Land of Lincoln has 994 police agencies across the state. That works out to 3.01% of the agencies took the grants. Clearly the vast majority of the agencies in the state aren’t beating down the ISP’s door looking for “free money” to conduct gun confiscation raids over expired FOID cards.

Recently, at several Guns Save Life meetings across the state, we’ve had local sheriffs and police chiefs laugh when asked if they’re doing “FOID enforcement” gun confiscations. While they all said they aren’t doing any gun confiscation runs, one said it extra succinctly.  “Hell no, we’re not,” he said. “If they want them that bad they can pick ’em up themselves.”

Is it worthwhile for the Illinois State Police to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in grants to bring 472 “individuals into compliance” with the FOID Act? Especially when these individuals are formerly registered, card-carrying good guys and gals?

Would that money perhaps be better spent on details dedicated to nabbing recidivist felon gang members in larger cities who are toting fully-automatic GLOCKs?

Image by Boch. Base Image via Twitter (Chicago Police 5th District Calumet). Note the full-auto GLOCKS all confiscated in a single Chicago police district (one of 25) from a single day’s work.

Perhaps there’s a simple reason why they prefer going after FOID holders and not hard core ‘bangers.

At one of our GSL meetings, the leader of an ISP group that conducted some of those “firearm enforcement” details in the past candidly admitted that the ISP officers under him were people just like the rest of us. “We get paid the same to visit the house of a old veteran with an expired FOID card as we did to pay a visit to some genuine bad guy with warrants for his arrest. I don’t have to tell which ones got priority for us from an officer safety standpoint.”

If you’re a little slow on the uptake, that means they treated the old vet with kid gloves.  They helped him get his guns to a friend or family member until he got his FOID renewed.  Sometimes they may have even helped that old person navigate the online process for applying for a new FOID card. And wouldn’t you know it, that chewed up a big part of their day. Then, with a little smirk, he added, “Sorry boss. Didn’t have time for the others….”

He noted that people with outstanding warrants usually avoid answering the door when “the fuzz” comes a-knockin’ so they still considered it a good day’s work. Everyone went home safe and they helped someone. Isn’t that what policing is all about?

We’re expecting a decision on the FOID challenge soon. However, until the FOID Act has been struck down and appeals by the State of Illinois have been exhausted, make sure you keep your FOID current to avoid visits from ISP or any other law enforcement agency.

7 thoughts on “REAL GUN CONFISCATIONS HERE IN IL: ISP’s gun grab program continues to limp along”
  1. If ISP has money for “grants” to “go after” expired FOID cards, why not just send renewal notices to expired FOID individuals, much simpler, more cost effective, unless of course, they want to cause trouble for unsuspecting citizens. If I recall correctly, I used to get a renewal notice about six weeks before my card expired, now supposedly with automatic renewal, expired FOIDs should never happen. What the heck.

    1. Because that wouldn’t allow them to play political policeman which is their only real function these days. If ISP isn’t patrolling the Interstates, they are unnecessary. I see a lot of fat that can be trimmed from my taxes here.

  2. While kudos for helping old guys get their gun cards renewed, I am appalled that they are taking gun rights away from old veterans over a piece of paper that expired. Last time I checked our second amendment rights have not expired.

    1. Here’s the thing. Bureaucrats posing as cops don’t believe in the Second Amendment, or private gun ownership of any kind.

  3. Two years after our escape from IL I received a letter from ISP regarding my expired FOID. It was sent to my updated address in another state. I called ISP, explained I left IL and not planning on coming back, I was told to ignore the letter. Month later I received a more forceful letter re my lack of FOID, once again to my address in another state wanting to know the disposition of my forearms. I called ISP, I left the democratic People’s republic of IL and that information is none of your business!

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