By LINDSEY SALVATELLI
Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD — An amendment to a controversial bill to overhaul the state’s Firearm Owners Identification Act has a lesser increase in the cost of applications and card renewals, but remains firm on proposed fingerprint requirements.
Under the most recent proposal, both new applications for FOID cards and five-year card renewals would cost $20. That price was lowered from the $50 proposed fees in a previous amendment. The current cost for FOID applications and card renewals is $10.
The new amendment also places a cap of $30 on the price vendors can charge to carry out FOID fingerprinting, something that is not now required but would be if the legislation is passed.
Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, explained at a Monday House committee meeting how revenue from the increased FOID fees would be shifted to give $15 to the State Police Firearms Service Fund and $5 to the State Police Revocation Fund, which helps officers retrieve firearms from those whose FOID cards have been revoked.
In previous testimony on Senate Bill 1966, state police officials said there is not enough funding to complete all FOID revocations.
Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, was critical of the bill, saying it does little to address the intended response to a fatal workplace shooting in February in Aurora – to better track FOID holders who have had their licenses revoked.
Todd Vandermyde, on behalf of the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois, opposed the bill’s price cap on fingerprinting. He said the average cost for fingerprinting on concealed carry licenses is $65 – more than double the proposed fee for FOID cards – but that fee is still too low for private vendors to continue offering the fingerprinting services.
Vandermyde said another problem with the bill is that it will be difficult, especially for those living in rural areas, to travel to one of the 109 locations approved for fingerprinting by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
“Is that not going to create places where individuals have to travel over an hour or more, or to another county?” Vandermyde said.
Vandermyde also warned that if the bill were to pass, it would be challenged in court.
Rep. Willis countered by listing other states that require fingerprinting.
“There are other states that do this, and it has passed their constitutionality,” she said.