ISP Director Talks FOID Revocation Enforcement

Illinois State Police Director (ISP) Brendan F. Kelly joined by Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Col. Mark Payton and Division of Justice Services (DJS) Col. Isaiah Vega on Thursday to announce results of wide ranging steps to improve operations, information sharing and enforcement of Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card revocation laws in the one year following the deadly shooting at an Aurora warehouse.

“One year ago, Illinois lost five good people in a horrific act of violence,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “The victims and survivors of Aurora deserve our honest and best efforts and the ISP is committed to nothing less.”

There are more than 2.2 million FOID cardholders in this state. Last year, the Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) received more than 300,000 new applications and renewals, more than 42,000 address changes, more than 386, firearms transaction inquiries and reviewed on average 220,000 newly submitted records to match to FOID card applicants and holders. On average, 90% of new FOID applications were processed within 30 days.

After the events in Aurora, the ISP responded with transparency, candor and action.

As part of that effort:

The ISP allowed local law enforcement, prosecutors and other justice stakeholders access to a web portal so agencies could identify individuals within their jurisdictions who were and were not in compliance with the FOID Act. Since February 2019, there have been more than 600 entities who registered and now have access to the portal. The portal has been accessed more than 13,000 times by those agencies. ISP continues to recruit new justice stakeholders to register for the portal. ISP’s goal is to attain a collaborative effort with local departments, aimed at increasing voluntary compliance.

The FSB has enhanced the FOID revocation list shared with all law enforcement to indicate if the revoked FOID card has been returned and/or if a Firearm Disposition Report has been submitted to ISP. This information is critical for law enforcement to determine whether a revoked FOID card holder has complied with Illinois law.

The FSB added the reason for revocations, such as felony charges, clear and present danger determinations, an order of protection, mental health prohibitors to allow law enforcement to triage responses in their jurisdictions.

Since May 2019, ISP conducted more than 200 FOID revocation details across the state, using gun liaison officers and Firearms Investigative Units. There are an average of 10,000 revocations a year. Revoked FOID card returns have increased, but more importantly, the submission of Firearms Disposition Reports has increased by more than 100%. This is an important indicator of compliance because the goal is to ensure that firearms are not in the hands of those who have been barred from possessing them.

Senate Bill 1966 is on concurrence in the State Senate. The bill will provide the additional resources necessary to sustain and improve our access to fingerprint associated records across the country, and to support law enforcement’s ability to accomplish this public safety mission.

“Without additional resources for both ISP and local police enforcement to remove illegally possessed firearms, the odds still remain too high that another senseless tragedy will occur,” stated ISP Director Kelly.