Davidsmeyer opposes FOID fingerprinting, higher fees for law-abiding gun owners

Springfield, IL…Assistant Republican Leader C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) called Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly’s plan to fingerprint all Illinois gun owners an overreach and violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Director Kelly is pushing legislation that will require all legal gun owners in Illinois to give their fingerprints to the State Police when requesting or renewing their FOID card,” said Davidsmeyer. This is a continued attack on law-abiding gun owners and it puts undue financial burden on many citizens just trying to protect their families.”

Senate Bill 1966 is a response to a workplace shooting that occurred nearly one year ago at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora.  The shooter was an illegal gun owner.

“Fingerprinting does not stop evil people from killing people,” Davidsmeyer said.  “The Aurora shooter lied on his FOID card application and the Illinois State Police still gave him a FOID card.  The Chicago Tribune recently published a report that the State Police has allowed over 30,000 illegal gun owners – like the Aurora shooter – to keep their firearms.

“Not only does SB 1966 require gun owners to pay for their own fingerprinting, and would increase the cost of FOID cards to $50 for five years, instead of $10 for 10 years.   

The Illinois State Police is currently being sued by two-gun advocacy groups:  The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation.  The gun groups’ lawsuit is in response to a report written by the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability – which Davidsmeyer is co-chairman of – that found $29 million was swept from the Illinois State Police’s FOID card program.

“I respect our law enforcement and all they do to protect our families and communities.  Let me be clear, the State Police has been politically forced to operate a bad program and has shown the inability to process the current information in a reasonable amount of time, and now Democrats are proposing to complicate the process even further for a Constitutional right,” said Davidsmeyer.

“$29 million, paid by FOID card applicants, was taken away from the processing program and spent elsewhere.  This created an unbelievable delay in FOID card and conceal carry applications for legal gun owners.

“Now Director Kelly is acting at the direction of the Governor, not the men and women of law-enforcement that he is there to represent!  He is playing politics and doubling down to put an undue burden on law-abiding gun owners by requiring fingerprinting in Illinois.  This is unacceptable.”

SB 1966 passed the Illinois House on May 29, 2019.  Rep. Davidsmeyer voted “No” on the legislation.

“Illinois is not a bubble and every person coming from outside of the State is able to purchase firearms and ammunition without a FOID card, making Illinois gun-owners second class citizens in our own State!  The Second Amendment is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  It is my hope that these actions will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, ridding us of the FOID altogether.”