The recent revelations regarding fund sweeps of monies from the Firearms Service Fund and the State Police Operations Fund are a travesty against law-abiding gun owners in Illinois.
Nearly $30 million in funds generated by user fees that should be used to reduce the wait time for FOID card applications and for the administration of the Concealed Carry program in Illinois has been diverted to general state spending.
Efforts by anti-gun groups to push legislation that would more than double the FOID card fee was a call to action for ISRA to get unbiased data on how the FOID and Concealed Carry programs have been managed and how they are funded. The anti-gunners insisted the program was underfunded and therefore the FOID fee must be raised. The experienced ISRA lobby team worked with Rep. Wheeler (R-Oswego) to have the Legislative Research Unit produce an unbiased accounting of the revenues generated by the FOID card and Concealed Carry fees.
We wanted this investigation because we wanted honest gun owners to know the truth about what was happening to the fees and what they pay for the right of owning a firearm in Illinois. So, we worked with Rep. Wheeler to secure a report from the Legislative Research Unit on what was happening to the funds and now we know. There is no shortage – just money being taken from these accounts to be used for other things.
It’s an affront to honest gun owners for the Governor and the Legislature to be pushing for a fee increase in the cost for citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights. The Illinois State Rifle Association has issued a press release calling for the Governor to stop taking money from the fund. It is our hope he will listen.
I am often asked why join the ISRA?
The answer is simple. No organization fights harder or more effectively for Illinois gun owners than the ISRA. Do we win every time?
Not always. But we will always fight for you and we won’t back down. This investigation into how the FOID card fee funds were swept is an example of the work we do every day to protect the rights of Illinois residents. Every gun owner should be an ISRA member. If every gun owner was a member we would and could enjoy even greater success in defending our 2nd Amendment rights.
Richard Pearson Executive Director
Illinois State Rifle Association