With Illinoisans encouraged to practice social distancing to combat the spread of the coronavirus, law-abiding gun owners may find it more difficult to renew their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) and Concealed Carry License (CCL). State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) is urging the State Police to implement “emergency rules” to extend the expiration deadlines until further notice for FOID and CCL holders similar to the actions taken by the Secretary of State when he extended the expiration of Illinois driver’s licenses.
“Given the circumstances we are faced with today, I am urging the State Police to extend the expiration dates for FOID and CCL until further notice,” said Rep. Caulkins. “With the state and federal government advising residents to stay home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, some law-abiding gun owners will find it difficult to attend a mandatory face-to-face CCL renewal course as a result of social distancing. Same goes for individuals with no internet, they will have a difficult time locating a library that is open in order to complete the FOID application online. Extending the expiration deadline for FOID and CCL will also give State Police more time to catch up on their renewal backlog.”
ISP is currently operating under a three-month delay to renew a FOID and/or CCL. To make matters worse, the Illinois State Police Firearms Service Bureau is swamped with nearly 20,000 firearm purchases and/or firearm transfer requests.
Rep. Caulkins added, “The fact of the matter is, the state requires a three-hour in-person course to renew a CCL which generally includes a large group of people. At this time, we shouldn’t expect our most vulnerable to put themselves at risk just to renew their CCL. The goal of this emergency rule is to protect the well-being of our law-abiding gun owners and ensure our citizens may continue to legally exercise their right to bear arms. This is also critical just in case ISP were to stop renewing licenses if they choose to shift resources elsewhere to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”