Posted Online: May 04, 2012, 9:52 am

Audit: Problems with Illinois FOID card program

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CHICAGO (AP) A first-ever state audit shows bureaucratic loopholes and incomplete or faulty data have weakened the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card program.

The audit found that the mentally ill and others could possibly obtain FOID cards to purchase firearms and ammunition, The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday. The audit doesn't detail any cases or examples.

'The safety of the general public as a whole is at risk,' Auditor General William Holland said.

More than 1.3 million Illinois residents have FOID cards. The program started in 1968.

The audit found that faulty reporting allowed ineligible people to get FOID cards, and it cited lengthy delays in processing card requests.

The audit also found that only three of the 102 county circuit court clerks in Illinois reported those found to be seriously mental ill to the Illinois State Police. Those reported should have had their FOID cards revoked or been listed as ineligible for a FOID card.

Records show more than 20,000 FOID cards were revoked between 2008 and 2010, but auditors found state police recovered only 30 percent of those FOID cards from cardholders.