One state lawmaker wants to get rid of Illinois’ Firearm Owners’ Identification card

Illinois is one of only four states with similar laws on the books. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD – One state lawmaker wants to get rid of Illinois’ Firearm Owners’ Identification card.

State Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, filed a bill to eliminate the law that
requires residents to obtain a FOID card in order to legally possess or purchase guns or
ammunition.

“I’ve been filing this bill forever,” Cabello said. “I don’t believe that FOID keeps us safer.
I think that it’s just another roadblock for law-abiding citizens [to obtain a gun].”

Illinois is one of only four states with similar laws on the books. Hawaii, New Jersey, and
Massachusetts are the other three.

“We have laws on the books against murder, but people still commit murder,” Cabello
said. “The criminals are never going to follow the law anyways. I mean, they’re
criminals.”

Cabello says there’s also the issue of the backlog at the Illinois State Police, where
around 62,000 people are waiting for either their initial FOID card or for a renewal.

“The state police are doing their absolute best, but they were never given the funding to
actually fund the office the way it should be,” Cabello said. “We hear stories from
citizens that are doing everything right by applying early for the renewal. But it still takes
sometimes three to six months to get their new FOID card.”

Cabello also believes there are ulterior motives for keeping the law on the books.
“If they would just come out and tell the truth,” Cabello said. “‘We don’t really want
anyone to own guns, so we’re going to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to
have one. Plus, we’re going to use it as a revenue generator.’ Oh, OK. Well, at least
you’re telling the truth now.”

Illinois’s FOID card requirement has been in effect since 1968.

Cabello has proposed similar legislation in previous years, but the measure never has
received a vote in the full House.

Illinois Radio Network can be reached at News@WJBC.com. 

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