Members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) were in Springfield last week to consider a new rule from the Illinois State Police (ISP) changing how the Pritzker Administration requires the agency to handle “clear-and-present-danger” reports when an individual applies for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. The rule was proposed in response to the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, in which the suspect climbed onto a rooftop along a crowded parade route and fired shots into the people gathered below, killing seven and wounding dozens more.
The suspect in that shooting was able to obtain a FOID card and legally purchase firearms, even though Highland Park Police had filed a clear-and-present-danger report with the state just months prior, alleging that the man had threatened members of his family and had threatened to commit suicide. In this instance in Highland Park, the FOID card review processes clearly failed.
The Pritzker Administration says that its previous administrative rule had required the ISP to discard clear-and-present-danger-reports if there was no pending or active FOID card on record for the individual at that time. Following a 2019 shooting in Aurora, Governor JB Pritzker announced that his Administration was going to review existing rules and procedures to make sure that dangerous individuals were not able to obtain firearms. However, no changes were proposed to the clear-and-present-danger process between then and the Highland Park shooting.
The new rule requires the ISP to keep all clear-and-present-danger reports on file, regardless of whether the individual has a pending or active FOID card at the time. More work is needed by the Governor and his Administration to clear up the other gaps in their rules so that current law can be enforced to its fullest extent and so that going forward, dangerous people can be stopped from being issued a FOID card.