How Illinois LE Agencies Use Your FOID Transaction History to Determine What Firearms You Own

by John Krupa III

This is my Part 2 follow-up to the article I wrote on Mandatory ISP Compliance for Expired, Suspended and Revoked FOID Cards.

While my last article drew hundreds of comments on this topic, one of the more serious comments of concern was; “If my FOID card does become expired, suspended or revoked, how does the ISP determine what firearms I own when a firearm disposition investigation begins?”

Should you become the subject of an expired, suspended or revoked FOID card, as outlined in my previous article, you basically have 48 hours to surrender your FOID card and report disposition of your firearms to the local LE agency from the time you are served with the revocation letter from the ISP.

Keep in mind that the ISP provides a copy of your FOID revocation letter to your local LE agency and tasks that agency with recovering your FOID card and verifying firearm disposition compliance.

If you do not surrender your FOID card or declare disposition of your firearms within 48 hours, the FOID law authorizes law enforcement agencies to contact you directly for compliance.

I’ve been involved with various cases where LE contact (after the 48 hour compliance time has elapsed) was done by letter, phone call, knocking on the door and even search warrants, all of which are authorized by the FOID act law.

When an LE agency initiates an investigation regarding your revoked FOID card, the first thing they do is contact the ISP to obtain a copy of your Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP) history to start the BATFE records request process to determine how many firearms have actually been transferred to you.

Every time you transfer a firearm through a licensed firearms dealer in Illinois, that dealer completes a background check on you via the Illinois State Police – Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP). Each FTIP transaction generates a transaction number that is archived under your FOID card history and is a permanent record that is archived with the ISP.
 
The investigating law enforcement agency then contacts the BATFE and requests copies of each 4473 form assigned to each FTIP transaction number archived under your FOID history as part of their investigation.

The BATFE then identifies and contacts the licensed FFL dealers involved in each of these transactions and requests copies of the 4473 forms you completed, which are then turned over to the investigating LE agency.

This records request process typically takes 24 – 72 hours.

Once the LE agency has copies of your 4473 forms, they then know which firearms were transferred to you and they can then contact you and order you (under the current FOID law) to produce the disposition on the firearms you still own and which firearms you have transferred out of your name.

The FOID law specifically requires you to show proof of disposition for all transfers of firearms you no longer own by keeping a record of such transactions for a period of 10 years.

I have attached a sample copy of what a BATFE FTIP records request looks like from an expired FOID case I worked on a few years back. Sensitive information has been redacted.

In this case, the firearm owner’s FOID card expired and the investigating LE agency initiated a firearm disposition inquiry at the owner’s home that resulted in the confiscation of (22) of his legally owned firearms!

The subject of this case eventually renewed his FOID card but it took us about 2 years of fighting to get all of his firearms back from the agency that confiscated them.

As you can see in the sample form I’ve attached, this person’s FOID card history spanned over a (3) card history. The investigating LE agency obtained the 4473 forms to all of the FTIP transaction numbers listed and when they knocked on his door, systematically asked for disposition of each firearm by make, model, caliber and serial number!

I’m sure this had to be a very stressful and terrifying experience, especially when he did not know that his FOID card was expired!

This can happen to any one of us here in Illinois, so please keep an eye on your FOID card and ICCL expiration and read the FOID act so you have a working knowledge of what this law entails! Stay safe. – Krup
 
Bio – John is a police officer with over 28 years of experience in law enforcement. He has worked dozens of criminal and civil cases as an expert consultant and expert witness and holds the rating of distinguished weapons expert with the Dept. of Homeland Security. He a certified Master Firearms Instructor (ILETSB) and Certified Firearms Specialist with the IFSA. John is also a nationally recognized firearms training expert and has presented as a guest instructor at training conferences across the country with ASLET, IALEFI and ILEETA. He can be reached directly at – jkrupa@teamspartan.com

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