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Photo by Wendy Davis

Chad McGinnis talks to the county board policy and procedure committee Thursday about a proposed resolution against the state’s FOID Card Act.

Iroquois County is sending another message to the state of Illinois regarding the private ownership if firearms, and it’s putting its own twist on something several other municipalities are also doing.

The county board policy and procedure committee recommended a resolution in opposition to the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act; this will go on for full board approval June 11 before it’s sent to state representatives and the governor. In this resolution the Iroquois County Board is putting “Be it further resolved that the Iroquois County Board hereby ordains that Iroquois County shall not support the enforcement of the Firearms Owners identification Card Act thru the use of county funds, appropriations, personnel or property. The use of these limited resources are hereby banned from enforcing the FOID Act.”

Board member Chad McGinnis is spearheading this, as he’s been researching what the act will mean to citizens.

One main issues is the raising of fees which, he said, will keep people from being able to legally own firearms. Obtaining the FOID card will increase from $10 to $50, and there will also now be a cost of $30 for fingerprinting and a charge for a background check. The background check will be a yearly fee.

The argument of those against the act is that citizens “can’t be charged a fee for enjoying a right”, a right as stated in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty, and property”.

He pointed out there are cases in which fees placed on the freedom of religion and freedom of speech were thrownout through the courts.

Also, there’s already case from Feb. 14, 2018, through the Circuit Court of White County in the Second Judicial Circuit which ruled the FOID Card Act as unconstitutional as it violates the Second Amendment.

Another issue McGinnis pointed out is that this act affects the private transfers of firearms “even to family members”.

Gun owners will have to go through a licensed dealer, paying fees for the transfer, to pass on the gun to another person, who will also have to pay fees, whether its a sale of the gun or the giving of it. If the second party backs out of the transfer, the gun owner would no longer have the right to the firearm as the paperwork had been processed.

The FOID Card Act, Senate Bill 1966, passed through the House Wednesday by a vote of 62-52.

Iroquois County’s resolution states this act “is in violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and has been found unconstitutional, the Iroquois County Board demand that the Illinois General Assembly cease and repeal the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act immediately.