ILLINOIS — Suburban police say it's a frequent scenario: They're called to respond to a tense situation at a house and don't know if anyone inside is licensed to own a gun. That information is held by the Illinois State Police, but the list of the state's 1.6 million Firearm Owner Identification cardholders isn't shared with local police.
Police often don't have that clue to whether a gun might be in the house until the encounter is nearly over. Only after they've got a person's name can they check it against the state's list. Some police officials say that's a key shortcoming of the state law. They would prefer to have that information available ahead of traffic stops and calls to quell domestic disputes.
"If I know I'm going to a domestic dispute, I'd want to know if that residence is home to a FOID holder," said Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman. "The way it is now I wouldn't know that unless we've been there before." Some would like to see information about FOID permits — along with impending permits to carry concealed weapons — included on driver's licenses. Illinois, the last state to approve concealed carry, will begin taking applications Jan. 5.