Two Northwest Illinois lawmakers are renewing their fight to eliminate a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system they claim adds an unfair layer of bureaucracy and financial strain to Illinoisans who want to exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights.
State Senator Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) and State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) have filed similar legislation in the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives to repeal Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card Act. Both lawmakers claim federal background checks and waiting periods are adequate in weeding out those who should not be able to own a gun.
“Illinoisans have a constitutional right to possess firearms, yet the Legislature continually throws up roadblocks that interfere with that right,” said Chesney. “The legislators who bring forward and pass these kinds of bills claim they are protecting public safety, but they are ignoring the very real fact that those who purchase firearms lawfully are not the ones responsible for the violent crime epidemic in this state. The criminals ravaging the streets of Chicago are not lawful people. Illinois’ FOID card system is not preventing these criminals from getting their hands on guns.”
The FOID Card Act has been in effect in Illinois since 1968 and has been amended on multiple occasions. Additional laws place other restrictions on gun ownership, gun use, and on the licensed dealers who sell firearms and ammunition.
“As a State Representative and Law Enforcement Officer, I understand the importance of upholding our constitutional right to gun ownership while also ensuring that public safety is protected. Unfortunately, Illinois’ current FOID Card system does not provide adequate protection and fails to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders and criminals. The current FOID card system fails to stop violent criminals from committing gun crimes, while making purchasing a firearm a cumbersome process for those that follow the law. As State Rep, I want to make sure that law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their right to bear arms without unnecessary burdens therefore I am proud to sponsor this proposal that voids Illinois’s FOID card system.”
Both measures are pending assignment to substantive committees in the Senate and House.