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“We should be free”: Bill to eliminate FOID cards gains support in Southern Illinois

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FOID Card sign

MARION (WSIL) --- Lawmakers in Springfield are discussing a bill that could scrap FOID cards in Illinois for the first time in decades.

Randall Gustafson, a salesman at Pro Gun & Indoor Range in Marion, kept his grandfather's old FOID card as a keepsake. "Whether if its been around for a million years, if it's not right it's not right."

State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) filed House Bill 4067 that proposes eliminating FOID cards in Illinois. State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) plans to support the new bill.

"Why are we penalizing lawful citizens who want to exercise their rights? That's all the FOID requirement does," Windhorst said.

The bill has 10 co-sponsors as of Monday, including State Representatives Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Dave Severin (R-Benton). Bryant tells News 3 that FOID cards infringe on her constituents' second amendment rights.

"I believe the FOID card is a government overreach and violation of our second amendment constitutional right to bear arms," Bryant said in a statement. "They should be eliminated!"

Gustafson says FOID cards are redundant because buyers have to fill out federal documents that act as a window for background checks.

"The state shouldn't have to double check the federal government," Gustafson said. "If we're doing that, we're wasting time and we're wasting money."

In 1968 Illinois became one of four states that required FOID cards for gun owners. The others include Hawaii, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Gustafson plans to support HB4067 and hopes others will follow.

"I hope that we as American citizens can get our rights back. It shouldn't be sold back to us," Gustafson said. "I think it should be handed out as freely as it is. It should be free. We should be free."

If it passes, the bill will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Danny Valle

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