Pritzker signs bill to fix FOID system, expand background checks

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker put his signature on a new law that could help keep guns out of the wrong hands.

The governor says the law modernizes the 53-year-old law for firearm owner’s identification or FOID cards. It gives more money to state police for dealing with FOID and concealed carry applications.

“Every loophole we close, we get closer and closer to safety for our communities,” Pritzker said.

The bill was passed in a bipartisan vote in June in Springfield.

It also will boost efforts by law enforcement to take away firearms from people who have had their FOID cards revoked, including from those who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or to the public.

Updating the law became a priority after the mass shooting in Aurora in February 2019 at the Henry Pratt Company, where five employees were killed by a disgruntled co-worker. Six others, including five responding officers, were injured.

The gunman was a convicted felon with a revoked FOID card.

Outgoing Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said this new law would have helped agencies to better communicate and take those guns away from the shooter.

“Two and a half years ago our Aurora community was ripped apart,” she said. “[The gunman] had a revoked FOID card, which should have not allowed him to have that gun but a broken notification system allowed him to fall through the cracks.”

With the new law, background checks will now be required on all gun sales starting in 2024.

It also invests in mental health programs for communities impacted by gun violence.

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