The Illinois State Police (ISP) are well aware of the incredible backlog of Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Cards (FOID) and concealed-carry licenses (CCL) waiting to be renewed, and because of that, they've given a 150-day extension to those of us who've seen our cards expire.

If you're a gun owner, you've probably been well aware of the huge wait times Illinois residents have had to deal with for well over a year now. All this waiting has prompted several lawsuits, including the federal lawsuit filed by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation, who claim that all these delays are a violation of our constitutional right to bear arms. According to Illinois state law, the ISP is supposed to get those renewal applications processed within 30 days.

The problem is that many people have been waiting and waiting (sometimes nine months to over a year), and have received absolutely nothing back from the state. They're sitting there with an expired card, and they're worried that they could get into trouble with gun laws. Remember, these are people who have been doing everything according to the law, and don't want to do anything that could cause their arrest, a fine, or confiscation of their firearms along with revocation of their FOID or CCL.

If you're one of those worried about just that sort of thing happening, you can feel a little bit better about things. The emergency rule/extension for FOID and CCL cards has you covered, as long as you have applied for the card(s) and also paid the required fees to the state.

Under the emergency rule, a FOID card or concealed carry license that has expired since the start of the pandemic is still considered valid as long as the holder has applied for renewal, paid the required fees, and the card is not subject to revocation, meaning the person has not committed an offense that would otherwise disqualify them from holding the permit.

That certainly won't lessen your wait for the card(s) to show up in your mailbox, but you can feel a little better knowing that you won't wind up on the wrong side of the law here in Illinois.

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