Sen. Anderson: FOID card delays infringe on Second Amendment rights

State Senator Neil Anderson (Moline) is raising concerns that the ongoing delay within the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card processing system infringes on people’s Second Amendment rights.

“My office is receiving call after call from constituents frustrated in the delay times in renewing their FOID card. This is unacceptable,” said Sen. Anderson. “While I appreciate the adoption of recent emergency rules to help individuals with expired FOID cards, people are still running into issues purchasing firearms and ammunition because stores and out of state businesses won’t accept expired IDs.” 

The Illinois State Police said it takes an average of 121 days to process new FOID card applications and 145 days to process CCL applications. Renewals, however, are taking even longer.

Sen. Anderson also noted he files legislation every year to repeal the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Act, which he says is an unnecessary burden. 

“What’s most frustrating is the fact that people are waiting months for a renewal for a FOID card that they shouldn’t need anyway,” said Sen. Anderson. 

The FOID Act was created in 1968 to identify people who were eligible to own firearms as part of a public-safety initiative in Illinois to meet the requirements of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968. However, Sen. Anderson noted that a lot has changed since then. 

“The FOID Act is over 50 years old, making it extremely outdated,” said Sen. Anderson. “With updated technology allowing for the use of instant background checks, the FOID card serves no real purpose.”

While Sen. Anderson’s legislation would eliminate the need for a person to hold a FOID card, it would not change any other requirements for purchasing a firearm. Those who purchase a firearm would still need to undergo strict federal background checks.

“Illinois is one of only a few states that require this sort of pre-approval process to purchase firearms,” said Sen. Anderson. “The FOID Act is just another unnecessary barrier that impedes on law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment right.”

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