ISRA Press Release:
Illinois State Police Overstepping Authority by Refusing to Issue FOID Cards to Youthful Applicants

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Controversy has been raging for several weeks over a proposal promulgated by the Illinois State Police that would set the minimum age of issuance for Illinois Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards at 10 years of age.

Outdoor sporting organizations, including the ISRA, oppose the adoption of the provision as it would have an adverse impact on gun safety training and youth shooting programs. On the other hand, gun control groups support the new restriction and see it as yet another means of discouraging participation in the shooting sports.

Approval or denial of the proposed regulation is the responsibility of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). As of the issuance of this press release, only a few days remain in the period during which the public may submit comments to JCAR regarding the proposal. Once the comment period expires, JCAR will consider all comments and will issue a ruling on the proposed age limit some time in the next several months.

Although adoption of such regulations is strictly within the purview of JCAR, an investigation conducted by the ISRA has revealed that Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent unilaterally established a minimum age for FOID applicants and began denying FOID cards to citizens less than 10 years of age as early as May 2007.

"Director Trent has taken it upon himself to nullify the authority of JCAR," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Last May, he issued a declaration to the FOID division staff that directed the denial of FOID cards to applicants less than 10 years of age. Since that time, the State Police have used this bogus age limit as justification to deny over 200 applications. Of course, Trent's edict has not stopped the State Police from cashing application fee checks."

"The ISRA is presently consulting with its legal advisors to identify a means of relief from Trent's illegal actions," continued Pearson. "Without a foundation in law, Trent's age restriction places the State Police in violation of Section 5 of the FOID act which requires that FOID cards be issued within 30 days."

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The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearm ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

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