Bill’s sponsor says FOID overhaul dead this session

Bill’s sponsor says FOID overhaul dead this session

Willis vows to improve bill that would have increased fees, required fingerprinting


Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Kathleen Willis said her bill to increase Firearm Owner’s Identification card fees and mandate fingerprinting will not be brought to a vote by the Senate before the end of session.

Willis, a Democrat from Addison, said she remains committed to working on the bill over the summer with hopes of reviving it during the fall veto session, a brief two-week period in November when lawmakers return to the Capitol.

“I always find bills can find ways to be better,” Willis said.

She said she was “extremely disappointed the Senate chose not to call” the bill.

The push to overhaul and modernize the Firearm Owner’s Identification Act was a response to the Feb. 15 shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora. The shooter, who left five dead and wounded five officers, had his FOID card revoked and was illegally in possession of firearms.

Under Willis’ proposal, both new applications for FOID cards and five-year card renewals would cost $20, up from the current cost of $10. The fees would have gone toward law enforcement revocation efforts.

“The bottom line is we need to fix the revocation system, and there's no doubt about that,” Willis said.

The increased fees and a mandate that FOID applicants be fingerprinted drew opposition from those who questioned the bill’s constitutionality and believed the increased fees would cost too much.

“I still contend fingerprints at the front end will cut down on the wrong people getting a FOID card,” Willis said.

Republicans who opposed Senate Bill 1966 pointed to a bill filed by Rep. Keith Wheeler, a Republican from Oswego, that appropriated funds to revocation efforts without requiring a fingerprint mandate. But that bill did not achieve any legislative success. 

Lawmakers on both sides agreed that the revocation system needs improvements, but disagreed on what changes should be made.

Willis said she and Wheeler will work over the summer to address FOID revocations.

“I might be slowed down, but I’m not down,” Willis said.



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Jeff Rogers

Jeff RogersJeff Rogers

Jeff has more than 30 years’ experience working for newspapers as a reporter and editor. He was the editor of daily newspapers in northern Illinois and Wisconsin before joining as Capitol News Illinois’ editor, where he oversees the news service’s development, growth and fundraising. He grew up in Lanark in northwest Illinois and has a journalism degree from Bradley University in Peoria.

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Full biography

Jeff Rogers is the editor of Capitol News Illinois. He has been director of the Illinois Press Foundation since October 2018.

Before joining the Foundation, Rogers had been a newspaper editor in Illinois and Wisconsin since 1994. He was editor of daily papers in Freeport and Galesburg in Illinois, and in Monroe, Wisconsin. He also was editor of the Freeport iNK weekly newspaper from 2003 to 2005. For the past 9 years, Rogers was editor of the Daily Gazette of Sterling and the Telegraph of Dixon, daily paper owned and operated by Shaw Media.

Rogers is a 1988 graduate of Bradley University in Peoria. He grew up in Lanark, in northwest Illinois.

“Having been in newsrooms since graduating from college, I have a strong sense of how Capitol News Illinois can help newspapers across the state,” Rogers said. “This is an exciting opportunity to help the industry in Illinois by providing coverage of state government that most of our newspapers are not getting. In the bigger picture, it’s an opportunity to help Illinois residents reconnect with their state government.”


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