Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sun-Times: Cook County sheriff’s team taking guns if FOID card is revoked

I'm no lawyer, but this strikes me as unconstitutional. As in unlawful search and seizure, surely there is someone out there who may set the record straight on this.
A new Cook County Sheriff’s team is crisscrossing the suburbs to seize guns from thousands of people whose Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards have been revoked.

More than 3,000 people in Cook County have failed to surrender their revoked FOID cards to the state. Sheriff Tom Dart said he thinks many of them continue to possess firearms.

The Chicago Police Department conducts regular missions to recover revoked FOID cards and seize guns from the holders, but there wasn’t a concerted effort to do that in Cook County’s suburbs, Dart said.

“The system is broken,” the sheriff said. “The system revokes cards, but the guns are of no consequence. . . . Our strong hope is that we will eliminate tragedies.”

FOID cards are supposed to protect the public from dangerous people. Mental illness, felonies and protection orders are grounds for the state to revoke the cards from their holders. It’s illegal to buy guns or ammunition without one.

In February, Dart assigned a sergeant and four investigators to a gun team that has recovered about 160 FOID cards and taken more than 160 guns from the cardholders.

In one case, the team recovered more than 35 firearms, including four AR-15 assault rifles, from a suicidal man whose card was revoked.
Eliminate tragedies, sounds like good propaganda for gun grabbers. Although let me take a breath, of course the last thing we would want is someone who is mentally ill have posses a gun and potentially use it. Here's another breath:
People with revoked FOID cards can’t buy guns from federally licensed firearms dealers. For any gun sale, a store must conduct a background check that will uncover a FOID revocation.

But background checks aren’t required for ammunition. Someone buying bullets must simply show a FOID card. A person with a revoked card probably would still be able to buy bullets because the salesperson wouldn’t know it was revoked, Dart said.

The sheriff said the bigger problem is that most revoked FOID card holders continue to possess guns. Dart said he persuaded the General Assembly to include new language in the FOID law that would allow sheriffs and municipal police to obtain search warrants to look for guns in the homes of people with revoked FOID cards. Dart called the provision a “hammer” for police to wield when investigators suspect people with revoked cards have guns — but the people insist they don’t.
OK, they do have a warrant to conduct a search for a weapon, but shouldn't there be a probable cause for any violent episode. I'm sure in some way doing so is justifiable.

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