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NASACT Webinar November 6, 2013 Excellence in Accountability Award DEPT. OF STATE POLICES ADMINISTRATION OF THE FIREARM OWNERS IDENTIFICATION CARD ACT.

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Presentation on theme: "NASACT Webinar November 6, 2013 Excellence in Accountability Award DEPT. OF STATE POLICES ADMINISTRATION OF THE FIREARM OWNERS IDENTIFICATION CARD ACT."— Presentation transcript:

1 NASACT Webinar November 6, 2013 Excellence in Accountability Award DEPT. OF STATE POLICES ADMINISTRATION OF THE FIREARM OWNERS IDENTIFICATION CARD ACT

2 Background 2 To promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, Illinois residents are required by the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act to have a valid FOID card in order to possess or purchase firearms or ammunition. The law originally became effective in 1968; unique to Illinois. The FOID Card Program is administered by Illinois State Police. ISP runs checks against various databases to identify conditions that may disqualify an individual from possessing a firearm.

3 Background 3 Although an individual has a valid FOID card, an additional background check is conducted by ISP on the individual at the time a firearm is purchased from a gun vendor. Approximately 300,000 FOID applications are received annually.

4 Background 4 Potential impact of audit appeared to be limited. Long-standing program – Problems with processing card timeliness had been well documented. Federal background check database – FBIs National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

5 Background 5 HOWEVER, Auditors found fundamental flaws in the States reporting of individuals with disqualifying mental health conditions. Not only undermined the effectiveness of Illinois FOID system, Significantly impaired the effectiveness of the federal background check database. AUDIT CONCLUSION: The effectiveness of the Illinois FOID card program is limited in promoting and protecting the safety of the public.

6 Mental Health Reporting 6 Reporting deficiencies of individuals with potentially disqualifying mental health conditions to the Illinois State Police. COURTS: The FOID Act requires that when an individual is adjudicated as a mental defective by a court, the court shall direct the circuit court clerk to immediately notify the Department of State Police....

7 Mental Health Reporting: CY The 5,154 involuntary admissions reported by ISP to the FBI in 2010 included involuntary admissions reported to DHS by State operated mental health facilities dating back to June None of the circuit court clerk orders received during 2010 were reported to NICS by ISP until 2011.

8 Mental Health Reporting 8 Furthermore, the information submitted by the three circuit court clerks to ISP was missing critical information needed for the FOID card eligibility determination process. Fifty-six of the 121 (46%) orders were missing date of birth, gender, or race. We found that 27 of the 121 (22%) orders from the circuit court clerks were not reported to the FBIs NICS database.

9 Mental Health Reporting 9 DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

10 Mental Health Reporting: CY The 5,154 involuntary admissions reported by ISP to the FBI in 2010 included involuntary admissions reported to DHS by State operated mental health facilities dating back to June None of the circuit court clerk orders received during 2010 were reported to NICS by ISP until 2011.

11 Mental Health Reporting 11 Example: An individual is involuntarily admitted to a nursing home/private hospital in a county where circuit clerk did not report to ISP. Since facilities did not distinguish between voluntary and involuntary admissions and the clerk did not report, ISP did not report the individual in the FBIs NICS database. Individual is released and travels or relocates to Wisconsin and tries to purchase firearm. Wisconsin runs a NICS check, which identifies no prohibitors, and gun can be purchased.

12 Mental Health Reporting 12 Hospitals and nursing homes did not report mental health admissions to DHS within seven days from admission as required. In 2010, only 13 of 105 private hospitals and nursing homes reported admissions to DHS within an average of 7 days.

13 Mental Health Reporting 13 The report also showed that deficiencies in mental health reporting were not limited only to Illinois. FBI data provided to auditors showed that many other states have reported relatively few mental health records to the FBIs database.

14 14 MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS SUBMITTED TO FBIs NICS StateThru Aug. 2011StateThru Aug California 276,313 Alabama243 Texas 166,026 Utah106 New York 159,411 Maryland56 Virginia 158,224 Maine35 MichiganMichigan 98,467 Vermont25 Washington 78,368 New Jersey16 FloridaFlorida 40,775 South Carolina15 Missouri 30,963 Kentucky8 Colorado 27,002 Wyoming4 Ohio 26,490 Montana3 North Carolina 20,775 Mississippi2 Connecticut 10,891 Nebraska2 Arizona 7,942 New Hampshire2 Illinois 6,732 Oklahoma2 New Mexico 5,759 South Dakota2 Wisconsin 5,220 HawaiiHawaii1 West Virginia 5,194 Louisiana1 Georgia 5,102 Massachusetts1 Indiana 3,080 North Dakota1 Kansas 3,363 Oregon1 Minnesota 3,388 Pennsylvania1 Tennessee 2,408 Alaska0 Arkansas 1,804 Delaware0 Iowa 1,660 Idaho0 Nevada455 Rhode Island0

15 Operational Issues at ISP 15 We conducted reviews of the FOID eligibility process and identified significant management control issues with ISPs administration of the program that impact program effectiveness.

16 Lack of Policies, Procedures, and Training 16 State Police did not have up-to-date policies, procedures, or administrative rules, and did not provide formal training to staff on the process for determining FOID card eligibility.

17 Undeliverable, Returned FOID Cards 17 We found that over 6,200 FOID cards had been returned to ISP as undeliverable by the post office and were stored in filing cabinets.

18 Unanswered Calls 18 ISP did not have enough Customer Service Representatives to handle the volume of calls that are received related to the FOID card program – 80 percent of phone calls went unanswered.

19 Timeliness of FOID Card Applications Approved

20 Revoked FOID Cards 20 ISP officials estimated that only 30 percent of revoked FOID cards are returned to ISP.

21 Audit Impact – Why? 21 Deficiencies in mental health reporting not widely known. ISP and DHS agreed with the reports 12 recommendations. Shootings at Sandy Hook and Colorado. Both the NRA and gun control groups supported the audits findings. Legislators working under a court-ordered deadline to pass concealed carry legislation.

22 Audit Impact 22 ISP and DHS immediately began to make changes, including: Revised reporting system so hospitals and nursing homes can now differentiate between voluntary and involuntary admissions. DHS reported 18,424 involuntary admissions to State facilities for inclusion in federal database. More interaction with the Courts.

23 Audit Impact 23 Legislation passed 2 months after report release. Adding more explicit requirements for circuit courts to report individuals with disqualifying mental health conditions to ISP. Requiring courts and local law enforcement to collect and return revoked FOID cards. Audit report discussed during several legislative hearings on concealed carry. Chief Justice memo to courts. Extensive media coverage.

24 NASACT Webinar November 6, 2013 Excellence in Accountability Award DEPT. OF STATE POLICES ADMINISTRATION OF THE FIREARM OWNERS IDENTIFICATION CARD ACT


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