Illinois State Police say they have dramatically reduced backlogs of applications and renewals for Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards in the state, with new processes and increased hiring credited for expediting that effort.
According to a press release, the ISP’s efforts to rebuild the Firearms Services Bureau have resulted in a backlog reduction of 89% for FOID card renewals, and a 75% reduction in backlogs of new applications for the cards, which gun owners in the state are legally required to have.
ISP says that it has implemented three specific strategies to erase those backlogs. First, the FSB has implemented improvements in both the technology and the processes involved in moving through the applications and renewals that they have received.
The bureau is currently processing applications and renewals within the legally-mandated 72-hour waiting period, according to state police.
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State police say that they have hired more employees to help address those concerns, with applications for FOID cards spiking dramatically during the COVID pandemic.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, NBC 5 Investigates discovered that the FSB was staffed with just five individuals, who were tasked with helping thousands of residents with questions about FOID cards and concealed carry applications.
Since early 2020, the bureau has hired 35 analysts to bolster its efforts to clear FOID card backlogs, and says it will continue hiring additional analysts.
Finally, the state police received help from the Illinois Legislature, which combined FOID and CCL cards into a single card, and allowed for electronic cards instead of paper cards to help streamline the process of renewals and applications.