The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that Illinois has not audited its Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system in 11 years.
Breitbart News reported that the gunman who shot and killed at the Aurora, Illinois, Henry Pratt Company had been issued a FOID Card in 2014, even though he had a felony conviction in 1995.
NSSF sent Breitbart News a copy of an audit covering 2008-2010 of the FOID Card Act, noting that it was the most recent one. NSSF also noted that the 11-year-old audit, performed by the State of Illinois Office of Auditor General, “shows lack of reporting, as does current data, plus some data is not being sent at all.”
For example, “During 2010, only 3 of the 102 circuit court clerks (3%) submitted mental health court
orders to ISP as required by the Act. ” This means:
[Illinois State Police] did not receive the information needed from the circuit court clerks to revoke or deny FOID cards. Due to the lack of reporting by circuit court clerks in Illinois, [Illinois State Police] could not report all individuals adjudicated as a “mental defective” or “intellectually disabled” (terms used by the
Act) to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), as required by the Act.
Mental health admissions data received by the Department of Human Services from private hospitals and nursing homes did not make the distinction between voluntary and involuntary admission; therefore, [Illinois State Police] could not report any individuals with disqualifying mental health admissions (i.e., adjudicated involuntary admissions) from private hospitals or nursing homes to NICS.
During the years 2008, 2009, and 2010, the “[Illinois State Police] recorded 21,212 reasons for revocations of FOID cards for 20,227 cardholders.” Yet estimates are that ” only 30 percent of revoked FOID cards are returned to [Illinois State Police].”
The importance of these allegedly failings in the FOID card system come into clear focus when one considers that the Henry Pratt Company gunman was issued a FOID card, which enabled him to legally buy a Smith & Wesson handgun. The Chicago Tribune reports that the gunman’s FOID card was revoked a short time after he bought the pistol, but it is unclear whether “Aurora police or another agency checked on whether Martin gave up his gun.”
Martin still illegally possessed the pistol on February 15, 2019, when he opened fire in Aurora.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.