What Is A FOID Card And Why Are They So Popular In Illinois Right Now?

A Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (or FOID Card) is needed to legally purchase a firearm in Illinois — and not so surprisingly, applications for these cards skyrocketed in 2020. Why? Well, the answer might seem counterintuitive, but Democrats have always been great for gun sales. That’s because Republicans and right-leaning Independents tend to get scared into thinking that Democrats will try to steal their guns (without any real reason for believing it), and buy more as a result.

And with Biden on fire during the majority of the primary races and for the latter half of 2020, it’s not difficult to see why some Republicans wanted to buy a few more guns. But there are other reasons. Gen Z is coming of age quickly, which means it’s time for the next generation of gun owners to make their applications. And the novel coronavirus pandemic and social unrest throughout the year couldn’t have hurt either.

A new Illinois bill seeks to remove the FOID card requirement, though. Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) drafted HB 1770. He said, “My solution would be to scrap it, because most states aren’t doing it anyway. We have 46 states who are saying ‘this isn’t a good idea,’ so why haven’t we done this?”

Most conservative groups believe any restriction, limitation, background check, or delay is a denial of a person’s Second Amendment rights. 

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said, “What’s happening is FOID cards are coming out so slow, both on new cards and renewals, people can’t exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

And whereas the legal argument wouldn’t hold up, there have been enormous delays because of coronavirus. And not everyone agrees.
President of Gun Violence Prevention PAC Kathleen Sances said, “We completely oppose this bill and this idea. If we get rid of the FOID cards, we have 20,000 people who would have access to guns who were not legally allowed to have one.”

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