COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – During the Illinois State Police’s firearm enforcement blitz this summer, 295 people in southern Illinois were brought into compliance with Illinois gun laws.
ISP held a news briefing Wednesday morning on how the blitz went from June 16 to July 31.
During the blitz, ISP focused on people who posed the greatest threat to themselves or others. They conducted more than 1,700 compliance checks across the state which resulted in bringing more than 1,000 people into compliance. In southern Illinois, ISP Districts 6,7, and 8, there were 74 enforcement details consisting of 710 compliance checks. 295 people were brought into compliance with the law.
Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly explained that after a person obtains a firearm legally, circumstances may change, and then the person could become prohibited from possessing a firearm. Some of these circumstances include being convicted of a felony or making threats that endanger public safety. When this happens, these people are identified and their Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card is then revoked. Local law enforcement is made aware of the situation and the person is required to give their firearms to law enforcement or someone who can legally possess them. The individual also must fill out a Firearms Disposition Record to be given to ISP. Kelly said thousands of people refuse to comply with these steps.
During the blitz, Kelly said Centralia Police Department told ISP about an aggravated assault at a local establishment. The suspect in question was experiencing mental health issues and threatened to hit a victim with the handle of a firearm that he had. Aggravated assault charges were filed. Then ISP revoked the person’s FOID Card and revoked the person’s firearm. Officials also confirmed that there were no other firearms at the person’s home.
Another incident that occurred during ISP’s blitz happened in Carbondale. The Carbondale Police Department recovered a man’s firearms after a shooting in public housing. The man confessed to the shooting along with unlawfully transferring a firearm to an individual to a person without a FOID Card. ISP revoked the man’s FOID Card and recovered an AR-15 Rifle and two semi-automatic handguns.
“Post COVID, we’ve had an extreme high rise in violent crimes due to firearms,” East St. Louis Police Chief Kendall Perry said. “This is one of the biggest things we need as far as deterring our high crime rate.”
Kelly said qualified medical professionals and school administrators can submit a clear and present danger report if they have a concern about an individual.
The news briefing will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at ISP District 11 Headquarters in Collinsville, Illinois.