Rep. Wheeler Statement on Emergency Rule Change to Broaden the Use of Clear and Present Danger Reports in FOID Card Applications

Assistant House Minority Leader and JCAR Co-Chairman Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, issued the following statement upon being notified that the Illinois State Police (ISP) submitted an emergency rule change today implementing broader use of clear and present danger reports that can bar applicants from receiving a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or revoke a current FOID card. The rule change allows for the use and maintenance of historic clear and present danger information even if the subject was not actively seeking or holding a FOID card at the time a Clear and Present Danger report was made and allows for use of these reports in possible future evaluations.

“This rules change is a necessary and important tool to enable our Illinois State Police to keep persons who pose a danger to themselves or others from slipping through the cracks in the system and keep our communities safe,” Rep. Wheeler said. “I support the Clear and Present Danger provision in state law as it pertains to the State Police’s ability to issue or revoke a FOID card based on these reports and to maintain records of an applicant’s history. I look forward to working collaboratively with the ISP and my colleagues on JCAR to shepherd permanent rules through the process that reflect our commitment to improve common sense public safety measures for the people of Illinois. I would also like to thank ISP Director Brendan Kelly for his swift work and straightforward communication on making this change.”

Clear and present danger reports are made by physicians, clinical psychologists, qualified examiners, school administrators, and law enforcement. This law is distinct from the Firearms Restraining Order. The Firearms Restraining Order is a court ordered restriction on firearms possession. Clear and Present Danger status is only one of many factors that can result in the revocation and denial of a FOID card. Other factors can include criminal records, mental health prohibitors, and other orders of protection.

Emergency rules may be submitted for consideration by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) when an agency determines a threat to public interest, safety, or welfare requires rules to be adopted in less time than would be needed to complete the full proposed rule process. Emergency rules go into effect within ten days of filing but remain in effect for no more than 150 days. The Illinois State Police plans to submit these changes under the JCAR proposed rule process as well, with the intention of making these amendments permanent.