Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly announced results of recent changes to the enforcement of the Firearm Owners Identification card processes yesterday in Springfiled at the Capitol. The announcement comes at the 1 year anniversary of Gary M. Martin opening fire at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois that killed five. Martin was not legally allowed to possess a gun in Illinois because of a prior felony conviction in Mississippi. However, in February 2014 he applied for, and was issued a FOID card. In March 2014, after he applied for a concealed carry license, his fingerprints were matched to a felony conviction and his FOID was revoked. However, his FOID and firearms were not confiscated by Aurora authorities and he was able to carry out the mass shooting.
Kelly said that ISP has created a 24 hour web portal for local law enforcement to access the identities and information of residents who are not in compliance with the FOID or who have had their FOID card revoked. The portal includes reasons why a person’s FOID card has been revoked so that local and state law enforcement can prioritize FOID and firearm seizures that they see as a threat to public safety.
Kelly said that more than 600 police departments have signed up around the state to use the new portal. Illinois State Police districts have been using the database, executing 200 FOID details since May. It’s the first time in the history of the FOID law that ISP has conducted such details throughout the state.
Kelly also said that he supports the fingerprinting provision for FOID card applications written in Senate Bill 1966. He said that fingerprinting will allow law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals and also make law enforcement investigations into shootings quicker. Governor J.B. Pritzker has already said he would sign the bill with the provision if it comes across his desk.
Gun owners in the state are currently suing the state to have the FOID law abolished, as they argue it is a sales tax on their 2nd Amendment rights. The Illinois State Rifle Association has already said they would fight Senate Bill 1966 in court if it is passed.