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Home > Press Page

Tuesday, April 30, 2013This year Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart launched an aggressive effort to remove guns from those who possess them illegally and to confiscate revoked Firearm Owners Identification Card from individuals who have become prohibited from possessing the card under state and federal law.

Since initiating the Sheriff’s Gun Suppression Unit seven weeks ago, 83 guns, including 4 assault weapons, have been recovered. The unit has also recovered 106 revoked FOID cards from individuals who are prohibited from possessing the card and resolved an additional 70 cases. The Unit has also recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition.

While a person can become a prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm under federal and state law for a variety of reasons, the most common reasons occur when a person is convicted of a felony, determined by a mental health professional to be a risk to themselves or others or who have an order or protection issued against them.

In Cook County alone nearly 4,000 revoked FOID card holders have not returned their FOID cards to the Illinois State Police. While a revoked person will be prevented from purchasing a firearm at a federally licensed firearm dealer, the person still could purchase ammunition since background checks are not conducted in connection with ammunition purchases.

Confiscated Guns

“These statistics unquestionably evidence systemic failure in our current FOID process that puts the public at risk,” said Sheriff Dart, “We have to get serious about enforcement – about recognizing that the center of the epidemic of gun violence is that weapons are in the wrong hands.”

Currently in Springfield Sheriff Dart’s proposed gun legislation, SB 1678 sponsored Senator Bill Cunningham and Representative Ann Williams, is aimed at reforming and strengthening the enforcement provisions of the state’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) system and expanding the reporting of persons who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms because of serious mental illness.

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