Gun owner ID card wait more than 2 months.
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org March 26, 2013 7:36PM
Much of the tax increment financing funds coming in this year for East Dundee are committed for previously approved projects including upgrades to GAT Guns on Route 25. | Sun-Times Media file photo
Updated: April 28, 2013 6:54AM
The wait for Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards is more than 60 days, and the Illinois State Police Firearms Service Bureau is in the midst of its busiest month ever processing applications for them.
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Tuesday that the wait typically now is about 64 days. According to Bond, more than 70,000 FOID card applications already have been received by the state police in March, putting it on track to be the all-time record month thus far for the Firearm Owner’s Identification Card program.
Greg Tropino Sr., president of GAT Guns in East Dundee, said he’s hearing from his customers that the wait is even longer than the two months the ISP says — about 10 to 15 weeks for getting the ID card that gun owners in Illinois are required by law to have. Tropino added the wait is supposed to be 30 days or less.
“When people start hearing or thinking that things might be banned, they tend to run out and buy those things while they can,” Tropino said, offering his opinion about why FOID card applications might be so high.
According to the state police website, record months have been the course since December, when 31,249 applications were received. In January, 61,172 people applied for a card, and in February there were 56,078 applications.
Last year, the state received 338,614 applications, the highest yearly total, according to state police data going back to 2006. The total for the first three months of 2013 is nearing 188,000, or more than half the applications received for all of 2012.
The Champaign-based News-Gazette recently reported it had obtained data from the Illinois State Police through a Freedom of Information Act request that showed about 1.5 million state residents, or 11.5 percent of Illinoisans, now have FOID cards. It said that at the end of January the backlog on processing FOID cards was more than 70,000.
With demand so high, a customer service phone line set up for FOID card information has been extremely busy, too. A call placed to the number Tuesday morning lasted about 10 minutes before being transferred to a recorded message that noted the high call volume and suggested calling back later, then disconnected. The message noted that the wait for getting a FOID card currently is more than 60 days.