80,000 People in Illinois Lost FOID Cards but Still Have Guns

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

In Illinois, they have a permit-to-purchase requirement that goes a step further than that. You have to have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card not just to buy a gun but to own one. Having a gun, even if lawfully purchased, without a FOID is a crime.


FOIDs can be revoked for a number of reasons, but mostly because you've done something to get yourself on the prohibited list.

With FOID requirements, one would imagine it would be a simple matter to disarm those who have lost their gun rights in some manner, and since Illinois is always complaining about the problems of people having guns who shouldn't, you'd figure they did just that.

Only, a report claims that some 80,000 people in the state who shouldn't have guns still do.

In Illinois, 114,000 people are banned from owning guns because of legal tangles or mental health issues — three-quarters of them haven’t surrendered their firearms, according to data the Cook County sheriff will present Thursday.

Sheriff Tom Dart is seeking $10 million from state lawmakers to tackle what he calls a firearm regulation crisis. The money would train and equip more door-knocking officers to retrieve or ensure the safe storage of weapons from those who have had their state Firearm Owners Identification cards rescinded.

The aim would be reducing the chance potentially volatile people would exhibit the type of violence seen when a shooter who wasn’t allowed to own a firearm carried out a massacre at Henry Pratt Co. in a Chicago suburb.

Otherwise, the menace of revocations of FOID cards from noncompliant gun owners will spiral beyond law enforcement’s control, the Democratic sheriff told The Associated Press in releasing the report in advance. Dart scheduled a news conference Thursday morning to release his findings.


There are 2.42 million FOID card holders in Illinois. They are rescinded when a gun owner is convicted of a felony, is the subject of an order of protection, is dealing with other mental health or cognitive issues, or is deemed a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others by police, school administrators, or medical professionals. Notified gun owners are required to turn over their weapons for storage or transfer them to a trusted person possessing a FOID card, an action certified with the completion of a Firearm Disposition Record.


Now, let me ask you what good does it do to have a permitting process in place like Illinois does, only to never use it to get guns from those who have become prohibited since getting their FOID?

It seems like it would have been a much easier problem to tackle from the get-go than to wait until there are 80,000 prohibited people who still have guns despite being legally barred from doing so.

It's almost like FOIDs aren't meant to do anything other than be a pain in the posterior to law-abiding gun buyers.

Especially since Chicago and other cities in the state routinely find criminals in possession of firearms who have never had a FOID card in their lives

Permits to own firearms like this are only good for knowing who has what so you can confiscate them later, but Illinois doesn't even have it in them to take them from those who are prohibited by law. If they were a pro-gun state, this wouldn't bother me in the least, but they're not. They routinely restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Meanwhile, the population of a decent-sized city is running around the state with firearms and officials have records as to precisely who they are and where they can be found, and they've done nothing.

Absolutely brilliant, folks.


And yet, Illinois routinely tries to tell other states how to run things despite this derpfest.

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