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New bill could make it easier to renew FOID cards, reduce delays in processing new ones

February 09, 2012 at 10:20 AM

The State Journal-Register

Illinois residents with firearm owner identification cards would have more leeway in renewing them if the General Assembly passes legislation proposed by Rep. Adam Brown, R-Decatur.

As originally written, House Bill 3796 would have eliminated expiration dates on FOID cards, effectively making them valid for as long as the owner lives. FOID cards currently expire after 10 years. However, Brown is considering several amendments to make the bill more palatable to the governor’s office and law enforcement.

Brown said he is worried that citizens might be subject to criminal prosecution for owning firearms but having expired FOID cards. He said he’s heard of some situations in which burglars broke into people’s homes and stole their guns, but the citizens were worried about being prosecuted because their FOID cards had expired.

“I’m not positive if it went to criminal prosecution, but it has the capability of going to criminal prosecution,” Brown said. “That’s what’s frightening to me.”

Todd Vandermyde, Illinois lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said eliminating the need to renew cards would get rid of a backlog that prevents the Illinois State Police from issuing FOID cards on time. State police have up to 30 days to issue a FOID card, a deadline the agency constantly misses, Vandermyde said.

State police declined to comment on the bill, saying it would be premature to do so.

“The FOID application process requires careful and thorough attention, and ISP is committed to ensuring the process is followed without compromising public safety,” Sgt. Matt Boerwinkle of the Illinois State Police said in a statement.

Gun-control advocates like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence oppose eliminating expiration dates on FOID cards, said Brian Malte, the organization’s director of state legislation.

Malte said the renewals are an opportunity for authorities to update background checks on firearm owners. He added that his group thinks the license period should be shorter, not longer.

“What this is, is a slippery slope of the gun lobby trying to eventually do away with any permit system,” Malte said.

Brown said he has been in talks with the NRA and the state police on his bill and is considering amendments to “find a middle working ground.”

Possibilities include giving people a grace period to renew after their FOID cards expire or lessening penalties for late renewal.

“Ultimately, my bill was a lifetime FOID card,” Brown said. “It wasn’t going to be palatable with the governor’s office or the state police.”

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The fact that we HAVE to have an FOID Card is complete Bull crap! Yes we need back ground checks and all but we certainly dont need to PAY for one or carry one. Hell we cant even CARRY NOW!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/09 at 01:55 PM

yes, i agree markeje

illinois is the only state with anything even close to a foid card…its a joke and a waste..

especially when a person from iowa can walk in and buy a gun or ammo in illinois without one, but if your from illinois sorry cant do it!

Posted by food plot phil on 02/09 at 03:43 PM

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