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Illinoisans growing frustrated as FOID card backlog continues

(WREX/WSIL) — For people trying to legally buy a gun in Illinois, 2020 has felt like a moving target.

The Illinois State Police announced on their Facebook page that the average wait time for a FOID card is 121 days with a concealed carry license taking 145 days.

In Sycamore, located just northeast of DeKalb, resident Dave Smith applied for a FOID card in June, and still can't legally buy a gun nearly six months later. Smith says he's not alone.

"I'm sitting here at five and a half months, one of my coworkers is sitting at well over five months for a concealed carry, and I have another coworker's family member that's waiting eight months for a FOID card," Smith said.

Governor JB Pritzker and ISP blame the backlog on the 167% increase in gun sales across the state.

"In 2020, there was a significant increase in purchases of firearms," Pritzker said. " "It just exacerbated the backlog that already existed that ISP is attempting to whittle down."

And while ISP already hired 21 extra workers in firearms services with another 11 slated to start in January, Smith says that's not good enough, especially when this is a non-issue in other states.

"My in-laws and family who are out of state? No problem!" Smith said. They just go purchase their gun, get a simple background check, and that's it."

ISP says their firearms department has already logged 17,000 hours of overtime in 2020. Their Facebook post did call the backlog in FOID card and Concealed Carry licenses 'unacceptable.'

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