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Sen. Michael Hastings (center)

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) joined State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly Wednesday for a press conference to discuss legislation aimed at modernizing the Firearms Owner Identification card procurement process. 

“The modernization of government services is an ongoing, but necessary process,” Hastings said. “We are undertaking this initiative because of the belief that responsible gun owners should not be penalized due to those who have taken advantage of the existing system,” Hastings said. “By bringing this system into the 21st Century, we can remove burdens from law-abiding gun owners and give law enforcement the ability to hold bad actors accountable.”

Senate Bill 1165, an initiative of the ISP, would make significant changes to make the FOID process more efficient, including: 

  • Creating a prohibited persons portal to help law enforcement identify people whose FOID cards have been revoked,
  • Allowing for the automatic renewal of FOID cards for people who have valid concealed carry licenses or have voluntarily submitted fingerprints in situations where the ISP does not find the licensee ineligible.
  • Permitting the use of electronic FOID cards and concealed carry licenses that can be displayed on a mobile phone or electronic device,
  • Establishing a review board to respond to revocations and denials quickly.

“Our goal is to ensure that we are keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others,” said Koehler, who is the legislation’s lead sponsor. “Our goal is not, however, to hassle safe, responsible gun owners. Through the modernization and streamlining of the FOID card process, I believe we can successfully accomplish both of our objectives.”

This legislation has been assigned to the Senate Executive Committee and could be heard in the following weeks.