Illinois FOID Card Applications Surge, But Delays Continue
A state-issued FOID (Firearm Owner's Identification) card allows the state of Illinois to identify people who are eligible to own and use a firearm.
The problem is that FOID card applications are absolutely skyrocketing here in Illinois, and so are the delays in getting those cards sent out to the applicants.
If you are among the tens of thousands of Illinoisans who've applied for your FOID card, be prepared to wait. It used to take about 30 days from the time you sent in your application until you received it in the mail.
Thousands of Illinois residents sent in their applications months ago, and have still not received their FOID cards. So what's the problem here?
According to the Firearms Services Bureau (they're tasked with the processing of FOID applications) the reasons are two-fold. FSB:
The Illinois State Police agree FOID applications should be processed quickly and within the statutory guidelines. Financial instability brought on by the lack of a budget in the prior administration greatly impacted the processing of FOID applications by the Firearms Services Bureau. Gov. Pritzker's budget and the fiscal assurance it brings will allow the ISP to continue efforts to hire at least 32 additional analysts and invest in technology upgrades. This year alone, FSB processed 65,969 new FOID applications....broader legislative remedies to streamline and modernize the FOID process will be necessary to meet statutory timelines. We look forward to working with all interested parties and members of the general assembly to reach those solutions.
So, according to FSB, financial instability is one reason. The other reason is that so many Illinoisans are looking to buy guns that the system is simply being overwhelmed. Story after story lately has chronicled the fact that Americans in every state are buying guns at a never-before-seen level.
In June of 2019, the state received 25,359 FOID card applications. In June of 2020, the state received 62,823 applications. That's an increase of 148%.
Here are some more numbers from the Illinois State Police (ISP):
Average: 15,564, with 62,257 total.March: 36,762
Average: 36,913, with a total of 147,652