As gun owner permits in Illinois are being revoked, avenue for appeals remains narrow

Illinois law requires anyone who wants to buy or own guns or ammo to have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card issued by Illinois State Police.

Updated: September 29, 2022 - 11:05pm

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There are no members appointed to the board that is set to field appeals from Illinoisans who have had their gun privileges revoked by the state.

Illinois law requires anyone who wants to buy or own guns or ammo to have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card issued by Illinois State Police. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said state police have been busy confiscating FOID cards from those the state determines can’t have one.

“This is very hard work. This is something that we’ve been at for the last four years to make sure we’re keeping people safe. Much more than ever before this is now happening,” Pritzker said Thursday. “The ISP, frankly in dangerous circumstances sometimes, are having to go approach people to get their weapons because they no longer qualify to carry one.”

ISP said earlier this month they have conducted more than 200 FOID enforcement details with more than 1,000 individuals surrendering their FOID cards and weapons.

But John Boch, with the gun-rights group Guns Save Life, said while there’s a FOID appeals board in state statute, the governor has not appointed anyone to field challenges to revoked privileges.

“Governor Pritzker and his friends in the legislature that are leading our state have done a fine job basically taking people’s FOID cards away without any due process at all,” Boch told WMAY.

State law says an aggrieved party can appeal to the ISP director. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, they can appeal to the FOID Card Review Board. The board was created by state statute Jan. 1, 2022. But nobody has been appointed to the board. Pritzker didn’t say why he hasn’t appointed any board members when asked about the issue Thursday.

Boch shared an example of one person who had their FOID card revoked because he said they sought treatment in college for an eating disorder and they can’t appeal the decision by state police.

“Yeah, there’s a provision there for a FOID appeals board, but Pritzker has not nominated a soul to fill those board seats so nothing’s happening on those,” Boch said. “So those people are completely in limbo.”

A state website with a listing for the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Review Board shows the board has all seven positions vacant.