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IL – GUN RIGHTS – Guns in crosshairs

Republican lawmakers, gun enthusiasts and Illinois State Police agree: The state’s system for keeping firearms out of dangerous hands is broken. According to state police who issue firearm permits, average waiting times for firearm owner identification (FOID) cards have stretched to four months; under state law, cards, which are required to purchase guns and ammunition, are supposed to be issued within 30 days. The average wait for a concealed weapons permit, state police say, is 145 days. “These outcomes are unacceptable to ISP,” the agency says in a recent press release. ISP director Brendan Kelly, a former downstate Democratic prosecutor, is calling for an overhaul of the state’s gun permitting laws, long a target of conservatives. Wait times have been exacerbated by surges in requests for FOID cards and concealed weapons permits. In 2017, the agency received 166,649 FOID card applications; through November, ISP this year has received 445,945 applications. Even before 2020, state police have failed to timely process applications while fees paid by applicants have been diverted to purposes other than processing applications. “It’s like going to McDonalds and paying them $20 for a Coke and hamburger and all you get is an empty tray – you’re still hungry,” says Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois Rifle Association. “This is a fee for service: You pay the fee, and you don’t get the service.” The FOID card application fee is $10; the state charges $150 to apply for a concealed weapons permit. The rifle association has sued the state in federal court, contending that delays in issuing FOID cards amount to denial of Second Amendment rights.  [full article]

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