Illinois Background checks are so far behind that authorities are scrambling to keep up …and failing. In the first 7 months of 2020, there were 4.6 million background checks in Illinois. FOID (Firearm Owner Identification Cards) requests are backed up by 143,000 as of August 21. There have been 610,000 checks per month, except for July, which topped out at 714,000. There are also 5,300 firearm transfer requests pending.
The local media blames it on the pandemic. But is it that, or have the crime in Chicago, and the riots in the streets across the country played a part as well? Illinois checks were up 88% as of July over the previous year, driven by first time gun buyers.
“Home defense has been the number one thing — pistols, shotguns, whatever they can get their hands on.” Richard Pearson, Illinois State Rifle Association (KSDK)
An Illinois State Rep says that the backlog is interfering with the 2nd Amendment. The Center Square writes,
State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said aside from calls about problems with unemployment, his office is flooded with frustrated calls from constituents upset they’re Second Amendment rights are being infringed upon. And it’s not just gun owners.
“I got an email from a gun shop owner just a few days ago, there was eight or 10 transactions on there that were 10 days-plus old,” Halbrook said. “That doesn’t really help in times like this. They think that they are intentionally being throttled back on those kinds of things.”
ISP said there’s about a seven business day average wait for the FTIP requests to be processed.
In order to buy a gun or ammunition in Illinois, the consumer must have a valid FOID card.
In the first seven months of the year, ISP says it’s processed more than 87,000 FOID cards. But Thursday, state police said there are still 143,000 requests pending that include new applications, renewals and other requests like address changes.
Halbrook said the bureaucracy is failing to protect their rights.
Illinois has had this issue before the pandemic, according to Halbrook. The law that forces firearm buyers to have an identification card simply adds to the pile of problems. The requirement is currently being challenged in several lawsuits.
The Illinois State Police is charged with all of the checks involved in firearms purchases, transfers, and FOID card processing. They say to increase their staff to handle it requires about 6 months of training. Meanwhile, firearms purchasers are being denied their right to purchase a gun.
“These are our constitutional rights, our liberties, and they’re being infringed upon. I don’t care how you shake it out, how you spin it, that’s what’s happening.” Rep Brad Halbrook
Featured photo: file