An Illinois sheriff’s team is crisscrossing the Chicago suburbs in an effort to seize guns from thousands of people whose right to own a firearm has been revoked, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
According to the paper, more than 3,000 people in Cook County have failed to surrender their revoked Firearm Owners Identification Card, or FOID, which is required to legally buy guns or ammunition.
Sheriff Tom Dart said he thinks many of the 3,000 continue to possess firearms.
The Chicago Police Department regularly conducts missions to recover revoked FOID cards and take guns from the owners, but there wasn’t a big push to do the same thing in the suburbs until now, Dart reportedly told the paper.
“The system is broken,” the sheriff said. “The system revokes cards, but the guns are of no consequence. . . . Our strong hope is that we will eliminate tragedies.”
FOID cards are meant to protect the public from gun owners who suffer from mental illness; felonies and protection orders also are grounds for the state to revoke the holders’ FOID cards. It’s illegal to buy guns or ammunition without one, the Sun-Times reports.
In one case, the team recovered more than 35 firearms, including four AR-15 assault rifles, from a suicidal man whose card was revoked. Many times, the team gets the FOID card, but not the gun.
The State Police alert the sheriff’s gun team every week to about 10 to 20 new FOID revocations in Cook County. The investigators then conduct a basic probe into the gun purchasing histories of the people they intend to contact. Then they knock on their doors.