“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
– 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution
A line of people waiting for their turn to purchase legal recreational marijuana in Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Chicago Sun-Times.
In this state (People’s Republic of Illinois) we have seen the legalization of recreational marijuana usage (despite the continued federal prohibition on it) and it was celebrated by many. I’ve seen this first hand both on my social media feed and also by seeing the long lines outside of local dispensaries.
Also in this state, we are required by the state to posses a Firearms Owner Identification card (FOID) to own or purchase firearms and ammunition. In order to exercise a constitutional right; one protected from infringement by the government by our founders when they crafted our constitution, we have to pay money and possess a piece of plastic. If you understand the purpose behind the second amendment, this should strike you as extremely absurd, flying in the face of it’s intended purpose.
The FOID system is broken. The state of Illinois has 5, yes FIVE individuals handling FOID applications as well as conceal carry applications in Springfield. Wait times for renewals for each of those have gone over what lawmakers promised us it would take. I know a few coworkers who have applied for their cards and have waited close to 120 days for their new card.
The counter argument from the state is that “as long as you applied prior to your expiration date you are fine as long as you have the documentation proving you did so.” The state requires us to have FOID, yet their system is broken and behind, oh and money that was generated for the FOID act has been diverted by our beloved elected officials in Springfield for “other uses”. I cannot use the excuse that I left my FOID card at home, yet the state can take as long as they want issuing one.
We are supposed to take it seriously, yet they abuse and misuse the funds, have long wait times and use the FOID as a punishment to gun owners. The whole FOID Act has become a joke at best, at worst it is an unfair hurdle for people to exercise gun rights in Illinois. The long wait times negate the whole purpose (and I use the term purpose loosely) is to ensure that people who shouldn’t have guns can’t get them. Law makers have threatened to up the cost, promising things will change with FOID. These are lies.
State Representative John Cabello of the 68th District, author of House Bill 4067. Photo credit: 23 WIFR.
So my rant ends like this; legalization of recreational marijuana was seen as a shining moment in the People’s Republic of Illinois, celebrated by most. There is a bill to be presented to the Illinois house (House Bill 4067) to remove the FOID card from existence. It should have never been created in the first place; it is a revenue stream for the state paid by people looking to exercise a constitutional right.
The system is broken and abused by the very same lawmakers that celebrated circumventing federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. If this doesn’t strike anyone as hypocritical, I can’t help you. You are either willingly blind or willfully ignorant. It is time to contact your representatives and tell them to support the repeal of the FOID Act, with the same passion many did with supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana. I’ve contacted my representatives, telling them I will be watching how they vote on this piece of legislation.Constitutional Rights should NOT be only available to those who can afford them.