New laws impact FOID cards

September 07, 2007 at 10:33 PM

Two new Illinois laws will have some impact on the firearm owner’s identification card. Gov. Blagojevich signed both laws recently.

The first, Senate Bill 1094, extends the valid period for a FOID card from five years to 10 years and increases the cost from $5 to $10. That takes effect Jan. 1, 2008.

That’s probably good news for most hunters, since it means there’s more time between the occasions when you forget your FOID card has expired.

The other bill, Senate Bill 940, requires hospitals and mental health facilities to report the names of anyone who receives inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment to the Illinois State Police, which conducts background checks on applicants for FOID cards. It also would require police to submit the names of anyone prohibited from owning a firearm to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Under the new law, hospitals and mental health facilities would only have to submit the names of patients whose behavior “poses a clear and present or imminent danger to the patient, any other person or the community.”

At present, only the names of persons admitted to private hospitals are submitted to the state police. The new law will take effect June 1, 2008.

Senate Bill 1094, sponsored by Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and Rep. Dan Reitz, D-Steeleville, requires circuit clerks to report the names of anyone found to be mentally defective by a court to state police. That information could then be used to deny an FOID application.

The legislation describes mentally defective as someone who is a danger to himself or others, lacks the mental capacity to manage his own affairs, has been found not guilty of a crime because of insanity or other mental condition or has been declared incompetent to stand trial.