New gun license law expands background checks in Illinois

Local News

AURORA, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a new law on Monday that updates the Firearm Owners Identification for gun owners, expanding background checks and expanding mental health funding for victims of gun violence.

“The bill I sign today delivers to Illinoisans everywhere the most comprehensive reform to our state firearms laws in over a generation. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have come together to shape a law steeped in a commonsense commitment to safety,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The state will now require universal background checks on all gun sales in Illinois. We’re also taking action to ensure responsible gunowners aren’t held back by an antiquated licensing system – which hasn’t seen significant updates since its founding more than 50 years ago.”

2.2 million Illinois gun owners have registered for FOID cards.

“The Illinois State Police welcome the signing of this bill which modernizes FOID and eliminates redundant and duplicative processes that do nothing to improve public safety. This act will help us in our mission to make lawful gun ownership easier for the good guys while keeping guns out of the hands of those who threaten public safety,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly

The legislation does the following:

  • Expands background checks to all gun sales in Illinois starting in 2024.
  • Invests in community-based, trauma-informed mental health programs in the communities most impacted by gun violence.
  • Properly funds the Illinois State Police’s ability to enforce the surrender of firearms from people who have lost their license for gun ownership.
  • Requires ISP to remove guns from people with revoked FOID cards who have not surrendered their weapon.
  • Amends how FOID card fees are distributed: $5 will go to the State Police Firearm Services Fund and $5 will go into the State Police Revocation Enforcement Fund (previously, $6 went to the Wildlife and Fish Fund, $1 to the State Police Services Fund, and $3 to the State Police Firearm Services Fund).
  • Creates a stolen gun database and requires ISP to continuously monitor state and federal databases for prohibited gun buyers.
  • Creates stronger identification factors, like fingerprints, so Illinois State Police can more easily verify the identity of FOID applicants and firearm purchasers, as well as increase the frequency of background checks. Allows responsible gunowners who opt into this process to see their FOID and Concealed Carry applications expedited and automatically renewed going forward. 
  • Streamlines the FOID card system by allowing ISP to create electronic records, creating a combined FOID and concealed carry license, offering cardholders the ability to apply for renewal six months before the expiration date, and establishing a professional appeals board.
  • Formalizes in law preventative actions the Illinois State Police has taken under Director Brendan Kelly’s leadership: giving all Illinois law enforcement agencies access to the FOID status of any individual, ensuring State Police continuously monitor federal and state databases for any new threat to safety, requiring every Illinois law enforcement agency to submit ballistics information to national crime databases within 48 hours, and making available to the public all firearms reported stolen to crack down on illegal gun trafficking.

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