By GREG BISHOP for the Illinois Radio Network
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — Before moving to ban certain types of weapons and gun parts in Illinois, some at the statehouse say gaps in the state’s Firearm Owner’s ID card need to be closed.
During a committee hearing Wednesday, state lawmakers grilled the Illinois State Police over the lapse of considering a 2019 clear and present danger report issued for the suspect in last month’s Highland Park mass shooting.
Robert Crimo III faces dozens of charges in the Independence Day shooting that left seven dead and dozens injured. He allegedly used a gun legally purchased with a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card that state police issued despite local police filing a clear and present danger report in 2019 against Crimo over reported threats to harm himself and family members.
During a Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing at the capitol in Springfield, ISP acting chief legal counsel Kelly Griffith reiterated the gap they hope to close with new rules.
“The person didn’t have a FOID card, they didn’t have an application on file,” Griffith said. “And so that [clear and present danger] report was actually not kept.”
The new rules allow such reports to be kept.
State Sen. John Curran, R-Lemont, supports the new emergency rules, but said ISP always had access to clear and present danger reports.
“There’s nothing in their old rule that required disosing of that report until a determination was made that their standard wasn’t met,” Curran said after the hearing. “It’s still very vague and murky as to what happened here. We need a clear answer.”
Other lawmakers Wednesday pointed to ISP lapses in enforcing the FOID card law found in the aftermath of a shooting in Aurora in 2019 where a gunman had a revoked card, but ISP didn’t confiscate the card or guns before people were shot and killed.
Separately, Gov. J.B. Pritzker outlined one of his priorities while taking questions at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday.
“We’re gonna make sure that we’re banning assault weapons and getting rid of high capacity magazines that are used in these deadly, deadly attacks,” Pritzker said.
Curran said before any other gun control legislation is considered, there must be clarity on problems with the FOID card.
“Before we move on to anything else, that still hasn’t been done here,” Curran said. “That’s step one in promoting better gun safety and public safety, and until that’s done, I’m not sure we should be moving on to two, three, four. We have to make sure that this is done first.”