Firearm Owner ID Cards Not Federal – Illinois Allows Concealed Weapons

Major media outlets are issuing retractions or modifications to a story reported days earlier that implied the Federal Government was issuing special identification cards to gun owners.

The Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards are actually issued by the state of Illinois to its registered gun owners. However, what is correct is that an Illinois state prosecutor will be allowing concealed weapons to be carried in public.

Attorney Tom Gibbons says that the practice is now allowed in the aftermath of the federal courts eliminating such bans. There is a bill going through the Illinois legislature which would explicitly allow for concealed weapons permits and it is quite possible that Governor Pat Quinn will sign it into law. The governor really hasn’t much choice.

The United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s concealed carry ban and ordered to the state to enact legislation by July 9. However, Mr. Gibbons has become frustrated over the lack of process of enacting legislation.

Gibbons claims his constituents have a right to bear arms that includes carrying concealed weapons. Other prosecutors disagree and believe that until a new law is passed legalizing concealed weapons carry, they should continue to enforce the prior law which has already been struck down by the courts.

“As this process dragged on in Springfield, with all sides working very hard on it, we had to do something,” he told The Associated Press on Friday from his office, northeast of St. Louis.

Legal experts have said prosecutors are well within their rights to decide which cases they will or won’t pursue. But several of Gibbons’ colleagues across Illinois believe he’s jumping the gun as Quinn still weighs the bill.

“We are a nation of laws, and we should follow the law and not pick and choose which ones we’re going to follow,” said Chuck Garnati, who’s in his eighth four-year term as the top prosecutor in southern Illinois’ Williamson County. “I commend the Legislature for passing the conceal law and sending it to Gov. Quinn. But until he signs it, it’s not the law in Illinois. That’s the bottom line.”

Source material:

Ill. prosecutor loses patience with concealed-carry process, criticized for not enforcing ban

A Gun Shop Owner’s Perspective: Why Illinois Should Not Pass the Concealed Carry Law

Illinois Concealed Carry: House Passes Bill That Could End State’s Long-Running Ban On Firearms