SPRINGFIELD (Illinois News Network) - Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law Friday giving a 60-day grace period for gun owners to renew their state firearms identification cards and still own a firearm, but it won’t help the thousands of gun owners that have let theirs expire.
The law allows for a Firearm Owner’s Identification, or FOID, card to remain valid for 60 days after the owner has sent in for renewal. This means a gun owner can submit their renewal for the card and still be a legal gun owner if it expires before the Illinois State Police processes it.
FOIDs expire 10 years after issuance.
“This is a win-win solution to problems for both gun owners and the ISP regarding FOID card suspensions, revocations, and renewals,” State Police Director Leo Schmitz said Friday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
But it doesn’t apply to 10,720 FOID card owners whose cards expired in June and haven’t been renewed as of Aug. 13. That information was obtained by Illinois News Network from the state police via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Some FOID card holders may no longer have a need for the card or have moved out of state for instance, but ISP said it does check on whether a cardholder has died.
The law signed on Friday only applies to FOID renewals that are filed before the card expires.
These thousands of gun owners are now, technically, outlaws. The penalty is a slap on the wrist, until the new year, that is.
Illinois law says an otherwise law-abiding gun owner is subject to a petty offense for possessing a gun with an expired card. The punishment is upped to a Class A Misdemeanor, $1,000 and up to a year in prison if their card is more than six months expired and they’re caught in possession of a firearm.