Illinois FOID card delays: State hiring more workers to address application backlog

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois State Police say they are taking action to deal with a backlog in processing FOID cards.

The ABC7 I-Team continues to hear from FOID card applicants about delays, with some saying they applied months ago and still have not received their cards in the mail.

A Firearm Owner's Identification card allows the state of Illinois to identify people who are eligible to own and use a firearm.

Back in August, the state told the Team that FOID cards applications were taking an average of 70 days to process. Now, the state says they're taking about 116 days on average

New FOID card applications by month:
July 19: 10,625
Aug. 19: 14,264
Sept. 19: 14,619
Oct. 19: 12,569
Nov. 19: 14,063
Dec. 19: 13,141

Jan 20: 21,424
Feb, 20: 13,629
March 20: 36,762
April 20: 25,254
May 20: 22,813
June 20: 62,823
July 20: 35,817
Aug. 20: 30,719
September 26,432

Illinois State Police, which manages FOID card applications, says the average number of FOID applications per month in fiscal year 2019 was 21,831.

In response to the I-Team's report last August, ISP said, "The Illinois State Police agree FOID applications should be processed quickly and within the statutory guidelines. Financial instability brought on by the lack of a budget in the prior administration greatly impacted the processing of FOID applications by the Firearms Services Bureau. Gov. Pritzker's budget and the fiscal assurance it brings will allow the ISP to continue efforts to hire at least 32 additional analysts and invest in technology upgrades....We look forward to working with all interested parties and members of the general assembly to reach those solutions."

For many people, receiving their FOID card is a necessity. Several people have voiced the need for ISP to get on top of this and send out their FOID card as soon as possible.

So what is the state doing to try to catch up on these FOID card applications?

Illinois State Police says it's conducting a mass hiring of analysts, with 11 in training and another eight starting this month.

Also important to note, if your FOID card or concealed carry license is expired and it expired after March 9 of this year, ISP says there are steps you can take to your card or license remains valid.

According to the Illinois State Police website: "If your card expired on or after March 9, 2020: During the COVID-19 pandemic, and under the emergency administrative rules issued as a result of the state's disaster declaration, FOID card holders and CCL card holders who submit their renewal applications will remain valid during the duration of the state's disaster proclamation and for a period of 18 months following the termination of the disaster, even if their renewal application is/was not submitted prior to expiration."

For more information on FOID or concealed carry license in Illinois, visit www.ispfsb.com/Public/FAQ.aspx.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.