Illinois’ Firearms Owner ID card is already the subject of lawsuits that are currently before the Illinois Supreme Court, and the latest news about the licensing program for gun owners may lead to more litigation.
Almost $30-million in fees paid by the state’s legal gun owners have been diverted from their intended purpose to other state programs, according to the website The Center Square.
A memo from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability sent to state Rep. Kieth Wheeler, R-Oswego, in September showed that in fiscal years 2015 through 2019 more than $13 million was swept from the State Police Firearm Services Fund for other purposes.
State lawmakers have often used fund sweeps to shore up spending in other areas.
“The Department did not answer our questions about the effects of the fund transfers (whether they affected firearm services operations),” the November memo said.
An Illinois House Republican staff member requested the memo.
The Illinois State Rifle Association said another $15 million was swept from a different fund, the State Police Services Fund, for a total of $28.5 million in sweeps over five years.
“Clearly, there is not a problem in lack of money from these fees, but an improper allocation of how the money is being spent,” ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said. “It is unconscionable for the Governor and the Legislature to ask for honest gun owners to pay more money for a Constitutional Right when the money they are already paying is going to fund other programs and services.”