The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Blagojevich Is NRA/ISRA's Bitch

By Sam Bakken in News on Oct 11, 2004 5:45PM

An article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune explored Gov. Blagojevich's refusal to increase the fee for a state firearms license. Currently the price of a Firearms Owners Identification Card is $5.00 while the article says estimates of the cost of processing the cards vary from at least $7.39 per card to $15.

Before his run for governor in 2002, Blagojevich served in the Illinois and U.S. Houses and pushed for limitations on gun sales and at one point wanted to increase the fee for the FOID card to $500.

But then he decided to run for governor and gun-rights advocates rallied gun owners against him in the southern half of the state, "forcing" him to change his position on the increase. He pledged that he would not increase the fee for the card by one penny and his aides say he's sticking to that pledge.

Only a few state fees, including the card, haven't increased since the 1960s.

The Firearm Services Bureau of the Illinois State Police department is responsible for issuing the cards and for conducting mandatory background checks on gun buyers for gun dealers. The bureau costs the state $2.5 million dollars a year and receives 200,000 FOID applications each year. An increase to $500 per card is probably ridiculous, so take 2,500,000 divide it by 200,000 and what do you have? 12.50. Increase the fee by $7.50. Gun-owners can afford it and they'd be paying for their own regulating body.

Since Chicagoist is oh so influential in state politics, you'd better get your FOID card today before the state takes our advice and the prices go up. It's good for five years, easier than getting a driver's license and cheaper by five dollars. You just have to swear that you're not mentally ill or an ex-convict.