FOID card problems: Calumet City woman gets card with wrong picture after yearlong wait

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are new complaints about Illinois' firearm ID, or FOID, cards, this time from a woman in Calumet City who said after waiting nearly a year for her credentials, only to get a card with a stranger's face on it.

Koffie Brown said she has no clue who the man in the picture is, and can't get the state to fix the problem.

She said she never thought it would take this long to receive her FOID card and now she's wondering if she'll have to wait another year for the state to get it right.

"I'm ready to purchase a firearm," Brown said. "I waited a year."

Brown said she applied for her FOID card in July 2020.

"I don't understand why we have to go through all of this to be able to carry a gun. I don't understand it," she said.

To make matters worse, when she finally got her card it had someone else's picture and signature with her name and personal information.

"I'm like who is this man and who has my information?" she said. "It kind of spooked me."

Complaints have been rolling in about FOID cards and Concealed Carry Licenses for more than a year. Dozens of people across the state said they've been waiting for their firearm credentials for months, and can't get ahold of anyone from the state to get answers.

Brown said the whole experience left her very frustrated.

"I'm still in limbo waiting on this card. I already took my concealed carry class, but I can't apply for that until I have my FOID card so I'm still stuck," she said.

The I-Team reached out to Illinois State Police, who administer the credentials. They apologized for the incorrect picture, saying in part, "This was the result of a coding error in the software from a program that was written five years ago...These cards represent about 1% of the cards processed in the first four months of 2021. As soon as the error was discovered, the Illinois State Police (ISP) Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) printed and mailed all of the identified photo errors."

As for the FOID card and CCL delays, ISP said, "New FOID backlog has decreased by 18% and renewal backlog has decreased by 38% since March 2020, which can be attributed in part to more hiring and technological advances."

New FOID applications are taking the state almost five months to process, and FOID card renewals are taking just over six months according to ISP's website.

Brown said she still hasn't gotten her corrected FOID card.

"Get it together," she said. "It should not take this long to apply for a FOID card. Hire people. Do what you need to do. You should not have a citizen waiting a year."

ISP said they are currently requesting legislation that would help streamline the firearm credentialing process, like consolidating the FOID and CCL card into a single card, and creating an electronic card that can be instantly updated.

Brown said the state finally did get back to her and said she should receive her new card, but didn't say when.

To see average wait times for FOID card and CCLs, click here.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.