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Full Press Release from ISP on FOID/CCL Situation


Molly B.
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https://www.isp.illinois.gov/Media/CompletePressRelease/691

Release Date: 12/9/2020 12:00:00 AM

The Firearms Owner’s Identification card was first enacted by the Illinois legislature 52 years ago. Since that time, the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau has been tasked with the administration of the FOID card, the concealed carry license (CCL), the Firearms Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP), gun dealer licensing, appeals, background correlations, investigative support, enforcement and customer service for the firearms safety laws of Illinois.

ROOTS OF THE CURRENT BACKLOG CHALLENGE

The demands placed on our state’s firearms safety system have been outgrowing capacity for years:

  • The number of FOID card holders has grown from 1.2 million to 2.2 million in a decade.
  • CCL holders grew from 90,301 in 2014 to 343,299 in 2020.
  • Due to the lengthy budget impasses, the Firearms Services Fund was “swept” in 2015 and 2018 and no plan to maintain or expand staffing was developed during that period. The current administration has not swept the fund and, in 2019, new leadership over ISP FSB initiated a hiring plan and metrics-based strategic plan focused on outcomes and accountability.

This year, the ISP FSB was confronted with a massive work increase across all categories:

  • FOID card applications increased 167% from 166,649 in 2017 to 445,945 as of November 2020, blowing past the small surge in 2013 when CCL was enacted.
  • FTIPS increased 45% from 2019 reaching 506,104 so far in 2020.
  • ISP FSB processed an unprecedented 64,000+ FTIPs in March 2020 -- the largest number recorded for one month until that record was broken in June with 65,000+ FTIPs.
  • ISP FSB has processed more than 67,000 incoming records (correlations*) in 2020.
  • More than 400,000 calls came into the FSB Call Center from May to November when a new automated phone system with metrics was activated.
HOW ISP IS CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGE

ISP FSB is facing this unprecedented confluence of demands head on with increased staffing, process mapping and analysis, technology, flexibility and transparency:

  • Director authorized hiring of 32 additional firearms eligibility analysts in February and additional hiring of temporary contractors.
  • FSB began an active recruiting effort to fill vacant Firearms positions in the FSB and retain employees in these positions hurt by turnover.
  • ISP FSB was directed in 2019 to refine application processes using well-known management analytics called Lean Six Sigma or Rapid Results, which has been used successfully across a number of sectors to increase efficiency by removing unnecessary steps and reducing variation. The ISP has used this process to reduce the Forensic backlog by 48%. ISP authorized a state-contracted service specializing in Rapid Results methodology to implement effective and efficient measures to assist in decreasing the backlog.
  • ISP FSB modernized its Call Center with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system in April 2020, which provides a menu of automated processes, such as status checks, payments and specific applications to replace the antiquated single line system.
  • ISP online access was redesigned to allow applications to be submitted from mobile phones and tablets with user ID and password recovery capabilities to improve customer service and responsiveness.
  • ISP provided relief to FOID card holders and CCLs by submitting emergency rules addressing renewals during the COVID-19 epidemic through which FOID cards and CCLs remain valid during the renewal process, if a renewal application was properly submitted by the cardholder.
  • ISP provided detailed, transparent briefings to the Illinois General Assembly Restore Illinois Commission and other policy makers and stakeholders throughout 2020.
PROGRESS SO FAR

With staffing increases, elimination of internal redundancies, and execution of technology upgrades, some metrics are slowly, but steadily improving. This progress has been achieved by:

  • hiring 21 Firearms Eligibility Analysts hired since March 2020, with 11 additional planned to start in January 2021.
  • dedicating 19 temporary contractual employees to ISP FSB.
  • temporarily assigning 7 sworn personnel to ISP FSB.
  • implementing 7 of 14 major Lean Six Sigma changes to the process.
  • the adoption of recommendations in FOID processing resulted in a 33% improvement in productivity in individual background processing.
  • the implementation of the Call Center VoIP system implementation in April 2020, nearly 100,000 calls have been handled through the system's self-service capabilities.
  • cleared approximately 67,000 correlations* in CY20.
  • holding down processing times averaging well below the 72-hour waiting period, even with a 45 percent increase in FTIP transactions from CY19 to CY20.
  • processing 216,805 FOID applications this year.
  • processing 50,557 CCLs this year.
  • FSB staff working approximately 17,000 hours of overtime.
  • processing more new applications were than received in October and November. This is the first time this has happened in CY20. More than 24,000 applications processed in November alone.
THE CHALLENGE AHEAD

Average time for processing a FOID application is 121 days and the average time for a CCL is 145 days. These outcomes are unacceptable to the ISP. Staffing, internal modifications and technology alone will not resolve this issue. The Lean Six Sigma/Rapid Results analysis and firearms services review produced many recommendations requiring statutory authority from the General Assembly to overcome the numerous redundancies in the overlapping FOID process, the CCL process, the FTIP process and the records correlation process that double or triple the workload of ISP FSB personnel without improving public safety outcomes. With over 10,000 FOID revocations and with over 4,700 FTIP denials in 2020, enforcement also remains a serious concern. The conclusions presented to the Restore Illinois Commission in October showed the varied firearms safety processes that have evolved inconsistently over sixty years must be integrated into a modern firearms safety structure that efficiently screens applicants and prioritizes safety. This cannot be accomplished without the support of the General Assembly.

 

“Aurora showed to everyone that Illinois should be using less of our resources on an antiquated, outdated, inefficient, ineffective renewal process from the 1960s and more on enforcement against real threats to public safety,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “Our people believe in building a system that makes it hard for the bad guys and simple and safe for the good guys. The Illinois State Police will keep pushing hard, but frankly we will need authority from the legislature to untangle, streamline and integrate the aging patchwork of FOID, concealed carry, firearms transactions, and records checks if we are going to fulfill this mission.”

*Each day hundreds of criminal history and mental health records are processed by FSB personnel and compared against current FOID cardholders. The timely correlation of these records ensures that FOID cards of prohibited individuals are revoked.

 

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*Each day hundreds of criminal history and mental health records are processed by FSB personnel and compared against current FOID cardholders. The timely correlation of these records ensures that FOID cards of prohibited individuals are revoked.

And each of those same days, most other states don't bother checking these records daily, or at all unless someone wants to buy a gun. Most of those states have far less violent crime than the problem areas in Illinois.

 

If we are to be serious about reducing violence we should be emulating states in our region that do better than us, not forging ahead with plans to "fix" a failed system that will remain a failure as long as it exists.

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Looked for report to Restore Illinois Commission but could not find the one from ISP on Oct 13th although others are online.

 

Two state agencies appeared before the Commission in October to provide updates and respond to questions:

the Illinois State Police on October 13 and the Illinois State Board of Education on October 20. DCEOs staff will

continue to meet with the Commission as needed and provide any information requested.

 

The conclusions presented to the Restore Illinois Commission in October showed the varied firearms safety processes that have evolved inconsistently over sixty years must be integrated into a modern firearms safety structure that efficiently screens applicants and prioritizes safety. This cannot be accomplished without the support of the General Assembly.

Edited by InterestedBystander
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More people is not the solution, and even the ISP Say Congress needs to fix it, it’s not going to be fixed by dumping more money into it either. It’s a 50+ year crap program. What other states still do this?
Just run background checks using people’s state ID or Drivers license so you can watch over the entire populous of Illinois.

“The conclusions presented to the Restore Illinois Commission in October showed the varied firearms safety processes that have evolved inconsistently over sixty years must be integrated into a modern firearms safety structure that efficiently screens applicants and prioritizes safety. This cannot be accomplished without the support of the General Assembly.”

 

The FBI already does this on every purchase.

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"Aurora showed to everyone that Illinois should be using ... more on enforcement against real threats to public safety," said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. ...

And yet the ILGA interpretation of "enforcement against real threats" was to drive FFLs out of business and (to try) to increase the cost of a FOID to people who aren't the threat.

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I did not see anything in that release that would clean up the mess they got. I see a bunch of excuses and questionable figures. Still NO ONE is being held accountable for breaking the law by not getting the cards out on time per the law. They want to hold us accountable when we don't follow the law, time we did the same to them.

 

Best thing would be to get rid of it all together.

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Sue them. In Federal Court.

I agree, but too many in the “Illinois firearms community” keep stating that the FOID does good,by keeping Guns out of the people that shouldn’t have them. Meanwhile the rest of the United States, somehow seem to manage without a FOID program.

 

Yeah, but if we didn't have the FOID...Chicago would be a shooting gallery.

 

Oh...Wait a minute.

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"17,000 hours of overtime"...unbelievable

 

Cronie enrichment, that is 8 or 9 full time employees worth of hours (paid out at a higher hourly base) to exsiting cronies! This packs their pensions, many IL state police retire with a pension that exceeds their base salary due to all this overtime that was/is packed on! This has been an ongoing problem (err cronie enrichment scheme) for many years inside the ISP and of course other IL governement jobs!

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...

*Each day hundreds of criminal history and mental health records are processed by FSB personnel and compared against current FOID cardholders. The timely correlation of these records ensures that FOID cards of prohibited individuals are revoked.

And each of those same days, most other states don't bother checking these records daily, or at all unless someone wants to buy a gun. Most of those states have far less violent crime than the problem areas in Illinois.

 

If we are to be serious about reducing violence we should be emulating states in our region that do better than us, not forging ahead with plans to "fix" a failed system that will remain a failure as long as it exists.

 

 

 

I have said before that if someone can show me that the FOID system provide a measurable reduction in gun violence and crime I would support it. But I have NEVER seen anyone make any credible presentation that FOID does anything better than what other states without a FOID system are doing. It can be argued that those states without a FOID may even be doing better than Illinois.

 

The FOID needs to go. It is not doing what it was claimed and designed to do. Some may say it was designed to be a money grab. But it seems to be costing more and more money without delivering on violence reduction or even a revenue source that accomplishes anything of merit.

Edited by ScottFM
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"Fix the FOID" will only serve to keep people from expressing their constitutional rights, because it will obviously lead to longer delays, and more red-tape for would-be lawful gun owners.

 

If you want to "fix the FOID" (other than getting rid of it), then pass a law that requires all funds brought in on FOID and CCL fees to be used for implementing those programs. Any leftover money gets returned to the people who had to pay the fees, rather than diverted into the general fund or for pet projects of law makers.

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