(The Center Square) — Illinoisans who’ve been waiting months to get their Firearm Owner Identification Cards could find some relief if a federal judge grants an injunction against the Illinois State Police on Tuesday.
One of the many cases filed in state and federal courts over the state’s gun laws deals with the delay in FOID card applications being processed.
The complaint was filed this summer in federal court by residents of the state alongside a couple of gun-rights groups and requests the court declare the delays violated the Second Amendment. It also asks the court to recognize it’s a violation of the defendant's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights.
ISP has said they’re working through the backlog, but there’s been an explosion of applications during the pandemic, but the delays and backlogs were around before the pandemic. The agency recently reported an average wait of 121 days and a backlog of 145,000 FOID cards.
Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said the latest filing in the case initiated this summer will be heard Tuesday “requesting a judge order the state police to issue the FOID cards within the 30-day time limit as required by law.”
The delays are detrimental to people’s rights, Pearson said.
“They can’t purchase a firearm, they can’t purchase ammunition,” Pearson said. “We’ve had calls they go in there with a letter, they say it’s not valid so they can’t buy anything.”
Illinois State Police have said through emergency administrative rules they have made expired FOID cards valid during the renewal process. Pearson said that’s not enough.
“If you show a firearm dealer an invalid FOID card with a nice note from the state police, they don’t care,” Pearson said.
Pearson said he hopes the judge issues an injunction against ISP.
“It would mean that the state police have to get there and they have to issue these cards,” Pearson said.