FOID card revocation process - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

FOID card revocation process

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. -- The mass shooting in Aurora raises concerns about how a criminal could still get a firearm legally. While a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card makes it more difficult, experts admit, the system is not foolproof. Revoking the card, doesn't always end with a weapon confiscated.

Illinois State Police explained why Gary Martin's (the man responsible for killing 5 coworkers) FOID card application didn't trigger a warning of his felony in Mississippi. 

Martin lied on his application saying he had never been convicted of a felony and wasn't required to submit fingerprints to get a FOID card. Months later, when he applied for a concealed carry permit, he did have to submit fingerprints and that's when police revoked his FOID card and sent him a letter. 

But five years later, Martin still had his weapon and used it to fatally shoot five of his co-workers. 

"State police typically send a letter to people to try and get them voluntary comply with the law," said Dave Kemp with Tombstone Gun Range. 

Dave Kemp is a longtime police officer and the owner of Tombstone Gun Range and Training Center. He explained, FOID card holders must pass a background check, but the law doesn't require police to ensure weapons have been removed if there are concerns later.

"I've seen letters that have been forwarded to local law enforcement letting us know that they have requested that this person turn in their FOID card. I've never had somebody from another agency direct me as a law enforcement officer to go to somebody's house and collect their guns," said Kemp. 

Kemp says he expects changes in the wake of the Aurora warehouse shooting, "You might see some more contact from the state police with local law enforcement. There might be some actual phone calls, something other than a form letter that a computer sends out."

The Illinois State Rifle Association reports, when a FOID card is issued, the card holder is run through the FBI's background check system every 24 hours.

The Illinois State Police released the following statement to News 3 in reference to this case.

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