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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Rezin: "It took a horrific act of... violence" for Pritzker... to keep gun safety promise

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Illinois Senate Minority Leader, Sue Rezin (R-Morris), released a statement through her website Wednesday following the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) approving a rule that changes the review process of the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system.

“Today’s rule change makes it clear to everyone that the Pritzker administration accepts the fact that it had the authority and ability to enforce and strengthen our state’s existing laws and rules, which the governor himself promised to do over three years ago," Rezin said.

“We all recognize the vital importance of keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals, and it is infuriating to learn that our state had the ability to prevent the Highland Park shooter from obtaining a FOID card if it wasn’t for the Administration tying its hands with its own rules," Rezin said. "It took a horrific act of senseless violence for the governor’s administration to acknowledge this reality and keep the promise he made to the people of Illinois.”

The Illinois State Police (ISP) faced questioning from Republican lawmakers during a JCAR meeting Wednesday following their assertion that they were unable to deny a FOID card to the alleged Highland Park shooter, Robert Crimo III, according to Capitol News Illinois.

Crimo successfully applied for a FOID card, which allowed him to make firearms purchases in 2019, only three months after an individual filed a "clear and present danger" report after Crimo threatened to "kill everyone." Law enforcement officers confiscated 16 knives, a dagger, and a samurai blade from Crimo's residence, but those weapons were returned later that day.

Crimo was not arrested following the incident, and although the Highland Park police forwarded the report to the ISP, the agency discarded it due to Crimo not having a FOID or a pending application for one at that time. The ISP argued that it was incapable of acting due to rules in place at that time. In the weeks following the Highland Park shooting on July 4, the ISP instated a new rule stating it will maintain "clear and present danger" reports, even in said reports' subjects don't have FOIDs or pending applications. The rule was allowed to stand during the JCAR meeting.

Illinois state law allows local law enforcement officials and school administrators to file "clear and present danger" requests with the ISP if they believe someone who has access to firearms or ammunition poses an imminent, physical threat to themselves or others, according to NBC News 5 Chicago. The ISP can then either reject a submitted FOID card application from the suspected individual or revoke an active card.

The new emergency rule allows for the expansion of the usage of "clear and present danger" reports, as well as the broadening of the report's definition, stating that "administrative rules have unnecessarily limited and complicated the ability of the Illinois State Police to consider clear and present danger information over time."

"Physical or verbal behavior, such as violent, suicidal, or assaultive threats, actions, or other behavior" would qualify for a proper "clear and present danger" report, according to the rule, NBC reported.

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