Listen Live
Listen Live

On Air Now

Sunday Gospel Music
Sunday Gospel Music

On Air Next

FOID card numbers are up as IL gun owners prepare to march on Springfield


(The Center Square) – The number of Firearm Owners ID card holders in Illinois is growing. Many of them are planning to march on Springfield.

Gun owners from across Illinois are making plans to visit Illinois’ capitol city April 18 to lobby lawmakers against more gun control.

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day has been going on for years. It brings gun owners from across the state for a series of speeches, a march through downtown Springfield to the Illinois State Capitol for a rally, and then time to lobby legislators.

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said there’s more interest, and legislators should take notice.

“Let them know that the gun owners are here, that they’re watching, and they’re going to be a force in the upcoming election,” Pearson told The Center Square. “We want to let them know that we are here and that we’re not going away and that our numbers are growing.”

There are now 2,473,655 FOID card holders in Illinois. That’s up nearly 60,000 from previous totals reported by Illinois State Police. The agency has not updated the total number of registrations for firearms, attachments and magazines that were banned in January 2023. The most recent numbers published were from Jan. 31, 2024, one month after the deadline to register banned items.

Lobbying lawmakers is one avenue Pearson said people can take to address what they see as infringements on their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The courts are another, including requests for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a challenge to Illinois’ gun ban.

“We have a case out of Maryland. We have a case coming out of California,” he said. “So I’m going to guess that they’re going to combine all of these cases and hear them all at once.”

Earlier this month, 29 states filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court urging them to take up the case challenging Illinois’ gun and magazine ban.

The question presented is “Whether Illinois’ sweeping ban on common and long-lawful arms violates the Second Amendment.”

They argue the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in the Barnett v. Raoul gun ban challenge that arms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans are not arms “defies logic,” and the Seventh Circuit’s conclusion that “militaristic” weapons are not protected is “wrong and illegal.”

Pearson predicts the U.S. Supreme Court could decide to hear the case in May with a ruling sometime this summer.

While there are pending lawsuits against the state’s gun ban, there are also challenges against the state’s FOID card. The FOID card, issued by Illinois State Police, is needed by Illinois residents to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition.

Pearson said a recent separate federal ruling that illegal immigrants can have firearms means FOID should be void.

“We have a counter attack on the FOID card because if they don’t need it, we don’t need it,” Pearson said.

Earlier this month, Northern District of Illinois federal Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled in favor of Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, a foreign national in the u.S. illegally who was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. She said the law violates the Second Amendment as applied in this one case.

ISP confirmed that in order to get a FOID card, one has to attest that they are “not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.”