The state’s Firearm Owners Identification, or FOID, program is “limited” in its ability to protect the public. That’s according to findings released today by the Auditor General.
The audit found a lot of problems with Illinois’ program for licensing gun owners. Here are some examples:
Thousands of cards never made it to successful applicants, many were returned by the post office as undeliverable.
And the police aren’t getting the information they need to disqualify applicants based on their mental health conditions.
The State Police also say there’s a backlog of applicants that need extra screening because the applicant has a criminal history.
What’s causing the issues? The Illinois State Police, which runs the FOID program, says it doesn’t have enough money to keep up. It says it’s receiving a record number of FOID applications, and there aren’t enough employees to handle them. Well over half the phone calls about the program go unanswered.
Neither the Illinois State Police nor the Department of Human Services, which is required to provide documents about applicants with mental health conditions, would comment on tape for this story. Despite the expectation of cuts in Illinois’ next budget, the state police responded to the audit findings with promises of improvement.