Springfield – State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) today voted against legislation that would greatly expand regulations of firearm ownership in Illinois. Among other new regulations, the legislation mandates new Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card applicants and renewals to provide their fingerprints to the Illinois State Police (ISP). The legislation also greatly increases FOID card fees and firearm sale and transfer fees.
“Illinois already has some of the toughest firearm regulations in the nation, and this legislation makes them even more stringent,” said Rep. Hammond. “These proposed regulations on law-abiding gun owners are punitive and an invasion of their privacy. Increasing costs and adding more bureaucracy for gun owners will not make our communities safer. They will only limit gun ownership through fees and more red tape. I will continue to oppose these gun control measures because our constitutional right to keep and bear arms should be preserved and protected.”
The legislation, Senate Bill 1966 (SB 1966), would reduce the length of time a FOID card is valid by half, from the current 10 year length to 5 years, and increase FOID card application fees by 400%, from the current $10 every 10 years ($1 per year) to $20 every 5 years ($4 per year). The most expansive and invasive regulation in the legislation mandates fingerprinting for current FOID cardholders upon renewal of their card and new FOID card applicants. The legislation tasks ISP with maintaining the fingerprint database.
SB 1966 also allows ISP to charge an additional fee for background checks, which may cost over $25 per check. Background checks are required every time a firearm is transferred or sold. FOID cardholders renewing their card and new FOID card applicants must cover the cost of the mandatory fingerprinting as well, which the legislation caps at $30 per fingerprinting. With the exception of transactions between family members or law enforcement, firearm transactions must go through a gun dealer who holds a Federal Firearms License (FFL), and that dealer is authorized to charge up to $10 for each firearm transferred or sold.
The legislation passed the Illinois House of Representatives and now moves to the Illinois Senate for concurrence.