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How Illinois politicians and the ISP are partially to blame for the 2019 Henry Pratt Shooting

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Update 2/13/20:

Before you read, today the director of the Illinois State Police today said he needs more ”resources“ (meaning money) for the ISP to do their job and is advocating for SB1966 (FOID card price increase and mandatory fingerprinting to get one). Now please see the timeline and information below to see that it’s BS.


 


With the 2020 Illinois General Assembly session about to kick into full gear (with gun control being a centerpiece), there is something that needs to be addressed. This will be a timeline of the FOID/CCL system and how not using funds intended for it and not following up on FOID revocations for violent offenders turn into tragedy. It will also show how legislators pass the blame (and cost) on to innocent legal illinois gun owners.


 

2012- Illinois State Police FOID policies & procedures is audited. It was known that less than 1/3 actually returned FOID cards when they were revoked, this still appearing legal to people checking FOID cards in person to determine eligibility for ammunition purchases and such.

Further, it was known there was issues with accurate reporting.


 

2013: Illinois passes the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, allowing lawful CC of a handgun. Part of the act discusses fees and what funds the fees would go into.



As noted, the State Police Firearms Services Fund is mentioned, which was created because of the C&C Act. The money collected is specially outlined as to be used for FOID and C&C expenses:

Also around this time, staff at the ISP Firearms Services Bureau (who is responsible for issuing FOID cards and Concealed Carry licenses) were having sexy time on the clock instead of doing their job.

 

2014: State Police is audited in 2016, but includes findings from 2014. Some more findings indicate that ISP staff didn’t know where to deposit the money collected from FOID and CCL fees as outlined in the 2013 law.



Additionally, money set aside for the fund is not being used.

(Of the $17.2 million set aside in 2014, only $2.2 million was used for intended purpose)


2014 is also the year the Henry Pratt shooter, Gary Martin, was issued his FOID card. Soon after in the same year, he applied for his concealed carry license, but he was rejected and was flagged as a convicted felon. He purchased a handgun using his FOID card before the ISP caught the felony conviction in the concealed carry licensing process. The ISP mailed Martin the FOID revocation letter, however Martin ignored it and that was that.


 

2017: It’s worked into the 2018 Illinois budget that its ok to take money from the State Police Firearms Services Fund and use it for other things.



Representative Kathleen Willis was a sponsor of a bill in which an amendment was worked into the budget.



What is that amendment? Allows for fund sweeping and green lighted $7.2 million to be swept from the State Police Firearms Services Fund.





 

2014-2019: Since the formation of the State Police Firearms Services Fund, the money for it has barely been touched for it‘s intended purpose, leaving tens of millions of dollars left over.







February 2019: Henry Pratt shooting occurs on 2/15/19. One day later, there was chatter amongst the J.B. Pritzker administration. Apologies for the FOIA format.