SHERIFF’S GUN SUPPRESSION TEAM
SEIZES 200th FIREARM
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
— The Sheriff’s Gun Suppression Team has confiscated its 200th illegally owned gun, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today
The weapon, an AA Arms AP Tec-9, was recovered Friday afternoon near 155th Street and Western Avenue in Harvey, based on an investigation from a tip. A Colt .38 Special, the 199th weapon, was also found at that location.
Sheriff Dart formed the unit in February 2013 with the objective of seizing firearms from individuals who have had their Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards revoked but have failed or refused to turn in their cards and weapons to the Illinois State Police. Gun privileges can be revoked by state authorities for a variety of reasons, including mental illness, violent crime charges or convictions, orders of protection or failure to renew one’s FOID card following its 10-year expiration.
There remain nearly 4,000 revoked FOID card holders in Cook County alone. While revoked individuals are restricted from purchasing a firearm at a federally licensed firearm dealer, they still can purchase ammunition since background checks are not conducted in connection with ammunition purchases.
“That this small team has recovered 200 guns from revoked FOID card holders in just six months speaks to the pervasiveness of the problem in Cook County and the brokenness of the FOID system in general,” said Sheriff Dart. “Some of these people are sitting on arsenals, and the old way of nicely asking for nothing more than their cards has proven to be ineffectual. It is critical to get these weapons out of their hands before they do harm to themselves or others.”
Prior to the formation of the Gun Suppression team, Cook County lacked a mechanism to get guns out of the hands of people deemed unfit to be around dangerous weapons. As a result of recent state legislation – utilizing language from Sheriff Dart – law enforcement now can obtain search warrants to forcibly remove guns from revoked FOID card holders when necessary.
Among the 200 confiscated guns, 35 came from one man whose FOID card was revoked for mental health reasons. In addition to the firearms, the Gun Suppression Team has collected 195 revoked FOID cards and resolved 115 FOID cases.