Bill To Require Fingerprints, Higher Cost For FOID Cards Advances
Illinois is the only state in the region that requires a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card to possess a firearm and/or buy ammunition (the constitutionality of that requirement being challenged at the State Supreme Court).
We've discussed over the years how the Illinois FOID requirement forces Illinois residents to pay to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, and that making Illinoisans pay for a FOID card is like charging people for a card that let's them exercise their right to free speech. Imagine having to pay every few years to speak freely. Somehow, I think the media might be a bit upset by that, and would barrage us with endless messaging saying so.
Not so much with gun rights.
I haven't even gotten into the massive delays in processing first time FOID applications and renewals. Thousands and thousands of Illinoisans who've applied have found themselves waiting and waiting for their FOID card applications to be processed, from 9 months to over a year. The process is supposed to take 30 days, max. Some are blaming the Illinois State Police (ISP) for the delays, but when the funds the ISP needs to hire enough people to get FOID cards processed is "swept" away to be spent in other parts of state government, you get continuing delays.
Now, we get a measure working its way through the statehouse that would require Illinoisans to submit their fingerprints to get a FOID card, and...wait for it...pay more to get one. That's right, pay even more for something that is a constitutional right.
Illinois House Bill 1091 (HB 1091), also known as the Fix the FOID Act, would mandate having your fingerprints taken (at your expense) and submitted with your FOID application or renewal. HB 1091 also changes the pay structure for FOID cards. Currently, a 10-year FOID card costs $10.00. If HB 1091 goes the distance and is signed into law, that will change to $20.00 for five years. Pay more, get less.
While that's going on here in Illinois, our Midwestern neighbors are doing things differently, according to a piece at TheCenterSquare.com:
In Indiana, a permit is required to carry a gun, but no permit is required to purchase one and open carry is allowed. The same goes for Kentucky and Wisconsin. Missouri doesn’t require a purchase or a carry permit. Iowa’s governor signed a measure Friday that allows residents to buy and carry firearms without a permit from the state.
I know the FOID card mess isn't the only reason, but it certainly factors in to some Illinoisans leaving our state for one of our neighbors.