Sheriff Dart Calls for Increased Funding for Law Enforcement to Address the Growing Number of Non-Compliant Revoked FOID Card Cases

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Nearly three out of every four revoked FOID card holders have either not accounted for their firearms or returned their FOID cards, according to a new report compiled by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. According to the report, of the more than 39,000 people in Cook County who have their Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card revoked, 68 percent (about 27,000) have not accounted for their guns or turned in their FOID cards as required by law. Statewide data is even more disturbing. Of the approximate 112,000 revoked FOID cardholders, 74 percent (about 84,000) are not compliant. Making matters worse, the report found that in Cook County, between April 1, 2022, and December 30, 2023, the backlog of 24,000 non-compliant FOID card holders increased to more than 27,000. This pattern is not limited to Cook County. Statewide, the backlog of non-compliant revoked FOID card holders increased by more than 1,000 from October 2023 through February 2024, according to the Office’s analysis of Illinois State Police data.

Among the most common reasons for FOID revocations are felony convictions, mental health concerns, and orders of protection. In 2013, Sheriff Dart created a Gun Team to retrieve FOID cards and guns. As a result, there is no backlog of cases in unincorporated Cook County or Ford Heights where the Sheriff’s Office patrols. To date, the team has worked nearly 9,200 revoked FOID cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 4,050 revoked FOID cards and more than 1,300 guns, as well as the safe transfer of more than 3,000 firearms. However, cities, towns, and villages in Cook County struggle to keep up with revoked FOID cards. A few jurisdictions have been able to stay on top of the growing FOID revocations, but the vast majority have no personnel to do this work. It is clear that unless there is an infusion of state money, communities across the state will never be able to catch up. Sheriff Dart also called on lawmakers to pass HB 5442, a bill sponsored by State Representative Bob Morgan (IL-58), that would increase the Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP) fee to $10. FTIP is operated by the Illinois State Police and uses firearm dealers to perform background checks on potential buyers. The $2 fee has not changed since 1992, and the increase would provide an additional estimated $1.44 million.

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