People want firearms, but the state’s bureaucracy is backlogged

The Illinois State Police (ISP) have struggled with a “backlog” in processing paperwork relating to guns for years. The Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) has recently announced a massive increase in the amount of paperwork they’ve been filing, driven by more people buying guns in Illinois than ever before.

Gun shop owners are frustrated as the backlog produces extra work on their end because everyday they have to go through and re-validate forms. One particular pain point is Form 4473. When a customer buys a gun, the seller fills out this form, which is valid under federal law for thirty days. Because of the backlogs, cases are going past the 30 days and the owners have to start the process over.

The state police said in a press release they are confronting the challenge of tackling their slowed down processing, even with an increase of use of the system. The ISP says its implemented changes from the “Lean Six Sigma” management analytics technique and is in the process of hiring 32 Firearms Eligibility Analysts to work on the backlog.

“Illinois should be using less of our resources on an antiquated, outdated, inefficient, ineffective renewal process form the 1960’s and more on enforcement against real threats to public safety,” said Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly.

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