ISP announces improvements to the enforcement of existing gun laws

ISP announces improvements to the enforcement of existing gun laws
Illinois State Police (Source: KFVS)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois State Police Director said the state is taking steps to improve the enforcement of current gun laws.

Director Brendan F. Kelly said officials are focusing on the improvement of operations, firearms services processes, and information sharing to aid law enforcement officials statewide with enforcement of Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card revocation laws.

ISP Information Sharing

FOID revocation and Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP) data must be readily accessible to all Illinois law enforcement agencies according to Kelly.

To ensure this, Kelly said the ISP Firearms Services Bureau is giving the entire current list of people with revoked FOID cards to every District and Zone Commander within the ISP.

The Firearm Services Bureau has also been directed to share FOID card revocation data and FTIP data with the Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC) to be given to state and local law enforcement. Kelly said the Bureau has been directed to require its IT vendor to modify the secure law enforcement web portal to include a FOID revocation list accessible at all times to all Illinois law enforcement with a mechanism to log each agency’s date of access.

Kelly has instructed every ISP Patrol and Zone Commander to give each sheriff, police chief, and state’s attorney in their respective zone a current electronic list of all people who have revoked FOID cards within each jurisdiction and confirm receipt of the list.

The Department is working with partners on the federal level to learn the scope of criminal cases that may have a federal identification number associated with a fingerprint record, but no correlating state identification number for Illinois, Kelly said. Officials are also working with state entities like the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) to determine if funding to law enforcement agencies and courts can be tied to substantial compliance with criminal record submission requirements.

Quality and Value of Information Provided by ISP

Director Kelly explained that Firearms Services Bureau eligibility determinations for FOID, Firearm Concealed Carry Licenses (FCCL), and FTIP must be standardized, thorough, and inspected. He said thousands of general notices indicate an individual has a revoked FOID card but are not useful data in a law enforcement environment with unending demands and limited manpower. In order to assess and prioritize potential threats law enforcement needs useful context and detail according to Kelly.

The Firearms Services Bureau has been directed to:

  • Require all firearms eligibility analysts to follow a standardized FOID/CCL protocol and a comprehensive checklist when conducting and completing FOID/CCL application reviews.
  • Increase quality assurance measures for FOID, FCCL, and FTIP transactions to include random reanalysis of approvals, scrutinizing those samples, reporting results to the Director monthly, and taking immediate corrective action as needed.
  • Enhance the FOID revocation list shared with all law enforcement to indicate if the revoked FOID has been returned and/or if a Firearm Disposition Report has been submitted to ISP.
  • Enhance the FOID revocation list shared with all law enforcement by adding descriptors that include the reason for revocation, such as a felony charge, a clear and present danger determination, an order of protection, mental health prohibitor, or other regulatory reasons for revocation.
  • Enhance the FOID revocation list shared with all law enforcement to include FTIP history which indicates firearm purchase history as well as the number of firearm purchases utilizing FTIP.

Increasing Enforcement

Kelly said enforcement must be increased using greater training and awareness. He said he is working with sheriffs, police chiefs, and state’s attorneys to increase awareness of FOID provisions and penalties.

  • Cadet training and requirements regarding FOID laws in the ISP Academy will be reviewed and update as needed.
  • A review of local police training requirements on FOID laws by Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board will be encouraged by the Director’s designee.
  • ISP officers in Patrol within each District have been directed to always ask about FOID revocation status when conducting patrol enforcement activity· ISP officers in Investigations within each Zone have been directed to always query FOID revocation status when conducting an investigation.
  • All telecommunicators have been required to ask about FOID revocation status when conducting enforcement on investigation activity.
  • The Firearms Services Bureau has been directed to provide each ISP Investigative Zone with a list of revoked individuals who may have provided false information on a FOID or CCL application to determine if an investigation and request for charges of Forgery may be warranted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Each Zone Commander has been directed to review the most current revocation list with local state’s attorneys to determine if investigation and citation for violation of various FOID laws is warranted on a case-by-case basis.

The Division of Operations has been directed to create a plan of action for the highest risk individuals, work with sheriffs and local police to plan enforcement actions as appropriate as well as work with state’s attorneys to seek search warrants as appropriate, and conduct ISP-only enforcement operations as appropriate. The division has also been directed to plan for more specialized enforcement over the long term.

Kelly said in late January 2019, the Office of the Governor requested from ISP the funding, manpower, and new cadet requirements necessary to establish a potential gun violence task force that would include FOID related enforcement to be submitted as part of the budget for FY 2020. That proposal was submitted February 8 and included in the Governor’s budget proposal.

Gun Liaison Officers will be designated in every Investigative Zone according to Kelly to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies, coordinate FOID revocation details with an emphasis on getting guns out of the hands of the most dangerous individuals, and ensuring information regarding FOID card revocations is shared with local law enforcement agencies on an ongoing basis.

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