SHERIFF DART ANNOUNCES THE
PROHIBITED PERSONS’ ENFORCEMENT ACT
Thursday, January 31, 2013
—Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is proposing gun control legislation aimed at reforming and strengthening the enforcement provisions of the state’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) system; expanding the reporting of persons who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms because of serious mental illness; and extending the supervision terms for felons and gang members convicted of weapons offenses.
“Our state’s gun laws are designed to fail and put communities at risk. I believe the time is right to bring commonsense and overdue reforms that will better protect the residents of Cook County and the state of Illinois,” said Sheriff Dart, “If we continue to ignore the enforcement side of the system, we are acknowledging that gun violence is here to stay and the tragedies and loss of life will continue.”
This bill will have three significant components:
Strengthening the Revocation Process –
- Requires ISP to notify the Sheriff and local law enforcement when a person becomes revoked;
- Requires the revoked person to surrender their FOID card to local law enforcement and account for their firearms within 48 of notice from the Illinois State Police;
Strengthening Mental Health Reporting –
- Requires mental health providers to report individuals who pose a risk to themselves, others and their community regardless of where the mental health treatment is provided. Current law only requires reporting of patients treated in hospitals and mental health facilities;
Extending the Supervision Term for Gun Offenders -
- Extends the term of mandatory supervised release (MSR) to 10 years for felons and street gang members convicted of possessing firearms. Current law carries a maximum supervised release term of 3 years.
In Cook County alone there are nearly 5,000 current FOID card holders who have had their card revoked;
- 45% reside in the City of Chicago and 55% reside in suburban Cook County
- Only 20% of these revoked individuals have turned their FOID cards into ISP
- Of the almost 4,000 who did not return their card:
- 870 were revoked for mental health reasons
- 804 were revoked because of the issuance of an order of protection;
- 13 were revoked because they were found by a mental health professional to pose a clear and present danger to themselves, other or to the community.
“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.”