SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS — Representative Jerry Costello is heeding the wishes of his constituents and pursuing a measure that would eliminate Firearm Owner Identification Cards for Illinois residents. He argues it’s a waste of money. Will it hold up in the House?
Firearm Owner Identification Cards are currently required to purchase firearms and ammunition. Gun owners still have to undergo a background check every time they purchase a gun. So, what purpose does the FOID truly serve?
Rep. Costello argues its costing the state money and burdening gun owners.
Every gun owned or possessed by an individual is currently tracked by the Firearm Owner Identification Card. It doesn’t grant an Illinois resident the right to carry it. It is just a form of verification for law enforcement.
Eliminating the card would eliminate the need to be in possession of one to purchase ammunition. Gun owners would still undergo the same process for purchasing firearms. They would need to have a background check done through the NICS.
From my standpoint, FOIDs serve no purpose. It doesn’t really aid law enforcement in determining a good guy from a bad guy and acts as an additional layer of control to allow law-abiding gun owners to possess their guns and ammunition for those guns.
Not every part of Illinois is like Chicago — a staunch opponent to gun rights. Southern and Central Illinois enjoy a great history with lawful firearms possession. And, for those interested in carrying concealed, there’s a whole other process which requires the person to, again, undergo a strenuous background investigation, fingerprinting, and mandatory state-certified training course.
So, for a concealed carrier, the FOID serves no purpose. He has an issued permit to carry concealed and police know he’s a concealed carrier when they look up his information. The FOID is just another place for an otherwise law-abiding gun owner to trip up. If it’s misplaced or not physically on the person in possession of the gun, it can open up all sorts of hassles up to and including civil forfeiture and fines.
The law, as proposed, may not make it to the governor’s desk but it certainly shows initiative on behalf of a legislator to represent the wishes of his constituents. We could certainly use a great deal more of that when it comes to state-level representation.
h/t KMOV News