By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
Those who have applied for a Firearm Owners Identification Card may have a very long wait, according to the Illinois State Police.
“The number of applications has dramatically increased over the last few years,” said ISP Sgt. Matt Boerwinkle of the Firearms Service Bureau of the ISP. “When you compound that with the volume of calls that come in every day wanting to know the status of the cards, the amount of work continues to increase.”
The pre-recorded message when calling the Firearms Service Bureau says it all, “The current FOID card processing time is over 60 days.”
Lynn Sandusky of Sandusky’s License Notary Service, said he tracked the card of one of his customers just last week.
“The check for the card was issued on Nov. 3,” Sandusky said. “The state didn’t even cash it until Dec. 6, then the state said it would take at least another 30 days to clear the card after the check was cashed.”
According to ISP FOID section, the application is checked, and a background check conducted on each applicant. The Web site for the bureau states that “due to the large volume of firearm-related questions, please allow 30 days from the date your check cleared the bank before inquiring about the status of your FOID application.”
That’s before you call the bureau and hear the 60-day notification.
The ISP reports there are 1.4 million FOID card holders through November and in 2012, there were 338,614 FOID applications received, amounting to a 5.4 percent increase over 2011. In 2012, there were 6,452 applications denied, and 4,811 FOID cards revoked, according to ISP.
“The amount of people I’ve seen wanting FOID cards has tripled,” Sandusky said. “People are terrified of losing their rights to have a gun.”
Sandusky said if those who have applied for a FOID have not received a notice or phone call from ISP about their application within three weeks of their checks for the card being cashed, there is no problem with the card — it’s just the state being slow in issuing them.
“They must verify the information on the application form within three weeks,” Sandusky explained. “If you don’t get a response from them in the three weeks, there is no problem, it just takes the rest of the time for the state to issue the card. Unfortunately, there’s no faster way of doing it.”
According to the ISP, there are other reasons a card could be delayed or returned. The top five stated by the bureau is the application not signed, the U.S. Citizenship question not marked, IL Driver’s license or state ID number not provided, question boxes not marked yes or no and the $10 fee was not included with the application.
Anyone who has not received a FOID card after application and within 60 days of the fee check being cashed may call the ISP FOID section at 217-782-7980 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.