SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A bill filed in the State Capitol is proposing to eliminate the FOID card. Illinois law currently requires residents seeking to own a gun to get the state-issued card.
"The FOID Card is, in our opinion, it's unconstitutional," said Republican State Representative Dan Caulkins. "Why should someone have to pay to exercise their 2nd amendment rights?"
The Firearm Owners Identification Card Act has been in place in Illinois for decades. But HB4067, filed by Rockford-area State Representative John Cabello, would repeal the act, eliminating the requirement for residents to get a FOID card in order to legally own a gun and ammunition in the state.
Cabello said the FOID law is just another roadblock for law-abiding citizens.
“The FOID law is just one more layer of government. The Illinois State Police currently have a backlog of 62,000 people trying to get their FOID or renew their FOID. It's a problem that we've had for a long time."
The proposal is already gaining support among some state lawmakers, including Caulkins, who is a co-sponsor.
"We feel that it's time just to get rid of the FOID Card. It's not necessary anymore," Caulkins said.
Caulkins said he believes FOID cards were originally needed in years past, in order to do proper background checks. But, he says, they are no longer necessary since the FBI has established its own background system.
"Why not just go directly to the FBI... and eliminate the middleman?" Caulkins said. "It's an expensive process. It's time-consuming, and quite honestly, it's time for it to go away."
The bill is still in its early stages, having been referred to the House Rules Committee earlier this week. If it becomes law, it would take effect January 1st, 2021.
WAND News also reached out to Democratic State Representative Sue Scherer to hear her opinion, but she declined to comment.
Illinois is one of four states that currently require residents to pay the state to get a firearms ID card. New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii are the other three.