According to Firearm Chronicles
The civil unrest and increasing violent crime in Chicago and other Illinois cities have prompted tens of thousands of Illinois residents to arm themselves in self-defense for the very first time. The Illinois State Police reports that in the first two weeks of June, more than 42,000 residents applied for a Firearms Owner ID card. That’s a 500% increase from the same time period in 2019, and gun store owners and firearms instructors in the state say they expect the demand to continue, at least in the near future.
At Fox Valley Gun Range in Elgin, Illinios, owner Mark Galvin says he’s gone from selling ten guns per day last year to as many as 200 per day in recent weeks. According to the Chicago Tribune, the flood of new gun owners has resulted in further backlogs to the state’s background check system.
The mandatory 72-hour background check — required by the state before getting a gun — has stretched to more than a week for some of his customers. On Monday, he was still waiting on five backgrounds he submitted on June 16, eight from June 17 and seven from Thursday.
The firearms services bureau of the Illinois State Police is taking an average of 94 business hours — not counting holidays, weekends, the day the gun is purchased, or the day the sale is approved or denied — to process background checks, roughly a day longer than usual, according to state police spokeswoman Beth Hundsdorfer.
The bureau is responsible for issuing firearm owner’s identification cards and concealed carry licenses, as well as conducting background checks for licensed gun dealers when a sale is made. Its work started to pick up in March and has spiked in June, Hundsdorfer said.
While background checks for gun sales delayed at the moment, the wait for a FOID card is even longer, with many prospective gun owners now waiting for months to be approved before they can legally purchase a firearm.