Legislation filed to eliminate FOID cards in Illinois

By DYLAN SMITH, NEWS3 Reporter

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois –  State Sen. Darren Bailey has filed legislation to eliminate the state’s FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) program.

The proposed legislation comes as a result of FOID card application and renewal backlog. Normally, FOID card applications are processed within 30 days of being filed, but in 2021 the average time of processing is 121 days, or about four months.

“With the FOID card guarantees in the state of Illinois that within 90 days you’ll have your card, and they (Illinois State Police) are well behind, over half a million cards,” Bailey said. “Essentially, we know we have been going, with all practical purposes, without FOID cards for the last two years because they’ve been so behind, and it’s causing a lot of frustration.”

Currently, Illinois state law requires people to have a valid FOID card in order to buy or possess firearms or ammunition.

“I believe the federal registry and background check is all we need,” Bailey said. “When you can go to a store and buy something for several thousands of dollars with a credit card, there’s really no reason why we can’t have that same real-time background check.”

Bailey is not the first Illinois legislator to call for a “void of the FOID.” In recent months, Rep. Andrew Chesney, Sen. Neil Anderson and Sen. Jason Plummer have all called for an end to the FOID program.

Bailey proposed the legislation in late March, Senate Bill 1948, and would repeal the FOID act and eliminate FOID requirements in other parts of state law. The bill is currently assigned to the Senate Executive Committee’s Firearms Subcommittee.