FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Calling them an “unnecessary hurdle for law-abiding citizens”, State Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) announced he filed House Bill 1770 (HB 1770) in the Illinois House to repeal the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card Act.
Illinois is currently only one of four states which requires residents pay the State to obtain permission to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms. Chesney’s bill proposes to eliminate the law which requires the possession of a valid FOID card to legally possess or purchase firearms or ammunition in the state.
“This is one of many ways Illinois has monetized the exercise of Constitutional rights with unnecessary bureaucracy and red-tape,” said Chesney. “With a backlog of, often, over 100,000 Illinoisans waiting in line for a bureaucrat to approve this Constitutional right after already requiring payment for this right, it is past time we get real about the lack of need for this bureaucracy. Imagine if to hold a protest in a public park, a First Amendment Right, you had to wait over 100 days for a permit you pay for on day one of the application. People would be rightfully outraged. That’s what’s happening with FOID cards.”
“I get more calls about FOID delays than any other problem in state government, and that saying a lot, considering the mess with unemployment benefits in our state,” said Chesney.
As he begins his second full-term in the Illinois House, this is Chesney’s second attempt at banning the FOID, having previously been a co-sponsor of legislation sponsored by then Representative John Cabello in the 101st General Assembly. If eliminated, federal waiting periods and background checks for firearm purchasers would still be in place for firearm purchasers.
“Illinois is broke and broken. Instead of attempting to continually raise taxes on citizens, isn’t it time we began to look at bloated bureaucracies and determine if they are necessary to exist in the first place,” Chesney questioned. “No criminals are concerned about compliance with the FOID act— this is simply a tax and restriction on the law-abiding citizens of Illinois. It’s past time for the outdated practice to end.”
Northwest Illinois residents can learn more about this and other state issues at Rep. Chesney’s legislative website — repchesney.com.