Void the FOID?


I read the excitement between the lines of a message from my friend, a hunter in Illinois. She wrote, “Can you imagine? There exists a possibility that I might actually end up living in a state that doesn't require a freakin' FOID card? Please let this fly ... please ... please. It just burns me that all of you can own and buy firearms and cart them into and out of Illinois, but, oh no … I have to have a FOID card.” 

My pal, an avid waterfowler, referred to Sen. Sam McCann’s recent bill (Senate Bill 334) that repeals the Firearms Owner’s Identification Act (FOID). In an article in The State Journal-Register, McCann said, “The act prevents law-abiding citizens from exercising their rights under the Second Amendment.” McCann, by the way, is a Republican. 

Of course, the bill does not eliminate background checks or a waiting period. And of course, it does not allow gun sales to convicted felons or mentally disturbed people. 

McCann said his constituents had complained about the state’s backlog in regard to turnaround with FOID applications. The state mandates 30 days for state police to process these applications, but in truth, it can take up to 80 days. The card lasts for 10 years. Illinois, like most other states, keeps cutting its state budget, so it may even take longer to get a FOID card renewed or approved in the future. I know my friend was sweating it last year, as she waited for a FOID card to arrive before duck season did. 

No FOID equals no ammunition, no gun sales, no hunting with firearms. McCann also noted that the reason for the FOID card happened in 1968 when Chicago lawmakers wanted a statewide gun registry and some hicks downstate objected. 

Another reason the law-abiding citizens of Illinois reject the FOID card is because of the state’s interpretation of the list associated with the card. In 2010, the Associated Press requested a list of FOID cardholders from the Illinois State Police, using the Freedom of Information Act as support for the request. The State Police turned down the AP, but Attorney General Lisa Madigan rejected the State Police’s action and said the list IS public information. 

McMann shot straight and hit the bullseye when he said, “At the end of the day, the only reason why the FOID card exists is to build a singular, go-to database of gun owners in Illinois. It’s antiquated, and we just need to reduce the infringement upon the enumerated rights of the Second Amendment.” 

FOID. A four-letter word starting with an “F” that basically violates the Second Amendment, and uses law enforcement as a bully and accomplice. 

What do you think? Is it time to send a message in Illinois and void the FOID?