Sheriff Addresses FOID Issues
Hello citizens of Jasper County this is Sheriff Brandon Francis. I would like to address the recent Facebook Post and rumors about the Sheriff’s Office going to a house to pick up an individual’s guns for an expired FOID. I would like to start off by advising everyone that since I have been Sheriff the Sheriff’s Office has never taken a firearm from any individual for a Concealed Carry or FOID expiration, suspension, or revocation. My Deputies and I are not coming to your residence for your firearms. I released an article in the June 3rd, 2019 edition of the Jasper County News Eagle. This article explains the letter that the Sheriff’s Office receives from the Illinois State Firearms Service Bureau. The article goes on to explain what the Sheriff’s Office does once we receive this letter. I wrote this letter to warn people of what I felt were non-valid reasons of FOID revocations. As I state in the letter the Sheriff’s Office has nothing to do with the Illinois State Police Firearms Bureau. I do not agree with many of these revocations and suspensions. When we collect the Non Valid FOID it is sent to the Illinois State Police Firearms Bureau along with the Firearm Disposition which list the firearms and who the firearms were transferred to. These items must be received by the Illinois State Police Firearms Bureau before they will consider reinstating the FOID. We will assist people in filling out these forms if they want help and we will mail them off for the individual. On occasions where it was not clear why the FOID was revoked I have done some digging and found out for the individual why the State revoked the FOID or Concealed Carry. I have also mailed letters into the Illinois State Police Firearms Bureau explaining why I felt certain revocations were not valid and in some cases provided court documents to prove this.
The question I have seen several times is why does the Sheriff’s Office get involved in these matters? Now that I have explained what the Sheriff’s Office does let me explain what takes place if the Sheriff’s Office chooses to not get involved. Members of the Illinois State Police are given the task of making sure that everyone that does not have a valid FOID is compliant with State Law. If the individual chooses not to surrender the FOID to local Law Enforcement and not complete the Firearms disposition then the State Police are aware that they have not received these documents. In the past Members from the Illinois State Police have come to the Sheriff’s Office. They have a list of the people that live in the county that have had FOID revocations. They then compare their list with the list of people that we have collected the Non-valid FOID and Firearm disposition forms from. If the people have surrendered their FOID and completed a firearm disposition everything is fine with them. If they find that people have not surrendered their FOID or completed a Firearm Disposition then they may go visit the individual. The Sheriff’s Office does NOT accompany the State Police when they visit homes for this reason. In some cases firearms are taken from the individual. This is one reason why the Sheriff’s Office attempts to visit homes and collect these documents and help with the dispositions. We look to give the individual every possible option and help get their FOID issues resolved if we can. This way they can avoid the State Police knocking on their door and they can have a spouse, family member, or trusted friend keep the firearms until their FOID issues are resolved.
I would like to state again that the Sheriff’s Office has never taken any firearms from individuals for the reasons listed above and we have no intentions of doing so. I am a hunter and I am pro 2nd amendment. I have helped teach concealed carry classes and I have donated firearms to be raffled off for community events. I have also been a sponsor of the Newton High School Trap Team. I believe that our law abiding citizens should bear arms if they choose to do so and that our community is safer because of it. Like many of you I do not agree with the FOID. Unfortunately we live in a state that requires a FOID. These are some of the reasons that I chose to write an article back in June addressing these issues. I am a firearm owner and I will work with other firearm owners to help protect our 2nd Amendment rights. I will attach the article I wrote in June. Please contact me at the Sheriff’s Office if you have any further questions regarding these issues. Please remember that if a Deputy or I come to your house we are trying to help you with your FOID issues despite what the letter you received from the State might say. I apologize for any confusion in this matter.
Sheriff Brandon Francis