SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — New legislation introduced in Springfield would repeal the state’s Firearm Owners’ Identification card system.

According to Sen. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) and Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park), who filed similar legislation in both the Illinois Senate and Illinois House, federal background checks and waiting periods are adequate in weeding out those who should not be able to own a gun, making Illinois FOID system redundant.

“Illinoisans have a constitutional right to possess firearms, yet the Legislature continually throws up roadblocks that interfere with that right,” said Chesney. “The legislators who bring forward and pass these kinds of bills claim they are protecting public safety, but they are ignoring the very real fact that those who purchase firearms lawfully are not the ones responsible for the violent crime epidemic in this state. The criminals ravaging the streets of Chicago are not lawful people. Illinois’ FOID card system is not preventing these criminals from getting their hands on guns.” 

Illinois has had a FOID system since 1968.

“As a State Representative and Law Enforcement Officer, I understand the importance of upholding our constitutional right to gun ownership while also ensuring that public safety is protected. Unfortunately, Illinois’ current FOID Card system does not provide adequate protection and fails to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders and criminals. The current FOID card system fails to stop violent criminals from committing gun crimes, while making purchasing a firearm a cumbersome process for those that follow the law. As State Rep, I want to make sure that law-abiding citizens are able to exercise their right to bear arms without unnecessary burdens therefore I am proud to sponsor this proposal that voids Illinois’s FOID card system.” 

This year, Illinois also passed a ban on the sale of 170 semi-automatic weapons. Multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging the law as contradicting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, and are proceeding through the court system.