ISP Reduces Backlog of FOID Reviews by 97 Percent, Stops Record 25,000 Illegal Attempts to Obtain Firearms in 2021
Today marks the three-year anniversary of the 2019 fatal shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois. Since this mass shooting, the Illinois State Police (ISP) continues to advance the cause of greater safety from gun violence on numerous fronts.
ISP continues to close historical gaps in firearms-prohibiting records review and analysis. This includes nearly eliminating the long-standing backlog of potential firearms-prohibiting information from state and federal databases that could correlate with persons attempting to obtain firearms including criminal records and mental health records. Unanalyzed records have been reduced by 97% with ISP reviewing over 140,000 records in two years since 2019. In 2021 alone, the ISP thwarted over 25,000 attempts to illegally obtain a firearm – a record number.
The ISP also revoked over 70% more FOID cards in 2021 than 2019, with 17,457 cards revoked in 2021. With the signing of bi-partisan gun safety legislation (PA 102-0237) by Governor Pritzker, submission of fingerprints has been incentivized which will enhance the precision of prohibiting records analysis and further strengthen the ability of law enforcement to identify prohibited persons.
“No one in the Illinois State Police will ever forget the souls lost and the scars left behind from the horrible events of that day,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Stable budgeting, increased hiring of personnel, improved technology, changes in the law, and the heartfelt commitment of the ISP have led to these steady advances, but we will never let up. All who know the pain of that day deserve nothing less.”
The ISP is also expanding its work to enforce firearms safety laws. There are 779 Illinois law enforcement agencies now using the ISP firearms web portal that includes expanded firearms details about prohibited persons, including recent purchase patterns and reason for revocation. This allows state and local law enforcement to identify and prioritize the most high-risk threats. ISP firearms enforcement details have increased 82% since first being started by the ISP in 2019. Through these efforts, the number of firearms seized by ISP has increased every year since 2019. Additionally, the number of citizens previously prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition by the FOID Act that are now in compliance with firearms reporting requirements are at an all-time high, nearly double 2019, reaching 5,364 in 2021. In 2021 alone, 595 revoked FOID card holders were brought into compliance with reporting requirements. PA 102-0237 will further provide an estimated additional $1.7 to $2 Million annually to state and local law enforcement specifically for firearms enforcement.
The ISP has increased the analysis of guns used in crimes and helped strengthen laws that prevent the transfer of crime guns. Over 8600 National Integrated Ballistics Information Network submissions were completed by in 2021 (digital images of spent bullets and shell casings from crime scenes), which was double the number of submissions from the previous two years. Under PA 102-0237, the serial numbers of all firearms reported stolen will be provided on a publicly facing database. Under PA 102-0237, universal background checks will also be required by law in 2024 to include private transfers, not just sales at firearms dealers.
ISP press release