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Illinois - tremendous spike in FOID applications and long FOID renewals


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..."FOID card: Tremendous spike in FOID applications in Illinois and some long waits on renewals


I thought renewal of my Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card in 2019 was tough, arriving only days before dove hunting began.


That was nothing compared to what is going on for the last year.


Between the start of the pandemic and lockdown a year ago, then social unrest in May and, recently, the Capitol insurrection, theres been a staggering jump in FOID card applications (from 166,649 in 2017 to 445,945 as of November 2020).


With the pandemic and lockdown, FOID applications spiked from 13,629 in February to 36,762 in March. That spike was surpassed after the late May social unrest from 17,420 in May to 62,815 in June.


A similar spike occurred in Firearms Transfer Inquiry Program transactions, from 33,605 in February to 64,028 in March, only to be surpassed by a jump from 38,362 in May to 65,222 in June.


Processing time for FOID card applications, as of January, was averaging 121.74 days.


FOID cards were created in 1968: To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a [FOID card], which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant.


The time-consuming process for the ISP is weeding out felons, addicts, people with significant mental health issues and other factors.


As to renewals, the ISP did not have an average processing length, but Sgt. Christopher Joey Watson emailed, There are approximately 138,000 renewal applications pending at this time. The pending renewals remain valid under emergency rules enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


An extension was made for FOID card renewals. But its advised to carry a copy of your application receipt.


Some waits for renewals are stunning.


Patrick Patel tweeted, Applied for my FOID in June, just got it Monday. So I guess ahead of schedule for me.


My thing with the State is I renewed my Concealed Carry License [CCL] just prior to renewing my FOID card, Leonard Ackman emailed. I received my [CCL] in approximately three weeks. Nothing to this day on the FOID card after several emails. Phone calls dont work as one cant even leave a message. My account says `Under Review. They received my application and money on Dec. 10. 2019.


ISP has hired more staff and upgraded its phone system, but the wait continues in many areas as does demand.


I applied for a new FOID card on June 9th, 2020, Curt Annis emailed. I am still waiting. The [iSP] web page says the application is still under review. Covid related problems aside, dont you think nine months is too long to wait?




I submitted my FOID renewal on March 3rd [2020] and I am still waiting: `Under review, Jennifer Becker messaged.


I passed the one-year mark for renewal already, Christian Howe messaged. At least I have the note that ISP mailed me that they received my renewal application.


Terry Juricic Jr. applied for his FOID card in July and still doesnt have it.


I did get a letter to carry when hunting, but cmon already, he exclaimed.


I applied for my FOID renewal, fall of 2019, Alva Miller noted. Even after a call to a state senators office, who, after investigating, assured me all was in order, I still do not have my renewal as of [Feb. 28]!


Today, Feb 27, makes exactly 14 months since I applied for a FOID renewal, messaged Carol Blando Baker on Instagram.


In December, ISP Director Brendan Kelly said, 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."...

Edited by InterestedBystander
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366 days for my sons renewal, nothing but a letter several weeks ago explaining how screwed up the system is and that the expired card is still valid. Really?


Keep the letter, send the card.

I got the same letter.Now if they can send me a letter with all my info on it,including my FOID number,telling me I'm still good to go,why can't they just send the card?Or if they tell me I'm good to go with them (geez thanks),but the card I'm carrying is no good,what.s the point of having a card at all?My one year anniversary of applying for renewal is coming up.You can know the FOID system is pointless,but you really appreciate how useless it is when you must walk around for a year with an expired card because they say so.

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I always note in these stories that the journalists doing the reporting never mention that Illinois state law REQUIRES that they issue new cards in 30 days and renewals in 60 unless they have reason to deny.


So where is the NRA or 2AF doing a class action lawsuit against the state and ISP for violating the law? The law has zero penalty so there is no incentive for the ISP to do anything different.

Edited by BobPistol
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I just noticed ISP has a new web page "ISP Firearms Services Bureau"


My FOID expires in August, looks like I can begin renewal 90 days before.

IMO it's BS that I have a IL CCL and Utah CCL but still have to have a FOID

I've had a FOID since 1974



These Delays are nothing new

When I first got my Utah CCL before IL had CCL I mailed out my application for FOID renewal and app for Utah with fingerprints I received my Utah in 30 days my FOID took 45 days. This was in 2011...

Couple months latter my wife applied for FOID it took over 100 days










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Best thing to do is make yourselves a major pain in the neck to the elected reps and senators no matter what party they belong to. Have done that in the past for other 2A related items and actually was on a first name basis with a couple of the aides to the elected reps. Courts and lawsuits take time and $$$$. I give when able and there is a new lawsuit at the federal level about the delays. The whole FOID system needs to be tossed. With all the data available there should be no delay whatsoever.

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I applied for FOID renewal in Feb 2019...so it has been over 1 year and I still haven't received it. When I contacted them they told me they had my information and the card I have now will still be good until I receive the new one. Let's hope I don't have to find out! They said they are backed up and it is taking longer than usual.

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Anecdotally, last fall the wife and I vacationed in NE Minnesota for a week. At one point I needed to visit a state office in Grand Marais located in a stand-alone building at the edge of town. The front door was locked with the obligatory covid sign on the door. But I could see the office area behind the counter inside was full of employees busy at their computers. The employee parking lot at the rear of the building was full of cars. There actually seemed to be---gasp!---an actual work ethic on display!


IMO, a similar work ethic seems to be lacking in Illinois, especially when it involves FOID and CCL. In Dec. 2012 the court ruled IL's carry ban unconstitutional and gave the state 6 months to fix it. First thing IL does is ask for another month. January 2014 the ISP began accepting applications, over a year after the court's ruling despite <knowing> CCL was coming and planning accordingly.


The CCL approvals process has been slow-walked since the beginning. 90 to 120 days is obscene. The software employed in the original application rollout was archaic, buggy and the implementation sloppy. If this had been private industry heads would have rolled. If this had been a moon launch it would have blown up on the pad.


Later Gov Fatfingers pilfered $30 million from the ISP's fund intended to be used for improvements to the "system" but which had been allowed to sit unused. Anyone in private industry <knows> this can happen and plans and allocates accordingly. Not the ISP apparently.


And now this debacle. Yes, covid had an impact everywhere. But somehow private industry managed to find ways to adapt and move on. What I've heard mostly from Illinois bureaucrats is excuses instead of solutions. Not saying all, but 99% of the people I've discussed this with share the same frustration. State-run offices are a joke.


Need examples? Stroll the aisles at your local stores. Remember how barren they were a year ago? Not any more.


Illinois needs a new license plate. It's no longer the "Land of Lincoln." It's the "Land Where Mediocrity is Enshrined."


Many years ago I saw a cartoon strip where a subordinate was complaining to a superior. The superior listened for a moment, and then hauled off and lifted the guy off the floor with a kick in the nutz. As he lay there rolling in agony, the superior leaned over and asked if he had the guy's full attention, if time was standing still, and if the pain had helped focus his mind?


The court should do likewise with the ISP.

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When the IL carry act was being debated, ISP did not say that they were going to need approval for a total revamp of all of their systems if they were to do their jobs as defined by the act. Nor did they say that the fees laid out for carry licenses were insufficient to fund their work. What's changed? To me it sounds more like a matter of ISP slow-walking all of this.

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  • 2 weeks later...


How does someone buy ammo if their FOID card is expired and they've renewed but don't have a CCL either? I've been waiting abpit 7 ,months for my FOID renewal, thankfully my CCL is valid.


Set a course to out of state, warp factor 9, to buy ammo. ROAD TRIP!



This, even though 'out of state' people are supposed to ask Illinois residents for their FOID (per IL law that generally has no force of law in thier state) most don't, plus ask yourself if they did ask why would they even accept an expired one, unless the ISP has briefed all ammo dealers nationwide that it's still valid? I have never actually been asked for my FOID when buying ammo out of state unless it was a just over the IL border store, in fact I have been told serveral times there was no need to pull out my "stupid" FOID card after I produced my DL for age verification if they even asked for age verification for an old guy like me.

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I live in northern suburbs. I doubt I'll get anywhere with my rep.




Likely the one where ISP says its all covid's fault and hang in there.



Paid: 4/6

Expired: 7/1


I've mentioned this before CALL YOUR REP.

I've called 3 times and all every time I had my FOID, CCL, my wife's FOID in hand within 2 weeks.





Edited by roundkot
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You walk into a shop, show your stack of paperwork, drivers license and expired FOID pay for any firearm they have. Within 1-4 days your get a ok and out the door you go with your new gun. You get letters from the ISP stating this, that and other thing. Obviously there are bodies at the FSB that can push buttons. With all the effort that goes into not getting us our cards why cant they just issue the renewal. Those cards are not one off, hand engraved. If you can buy a gun send the renewal.
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