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My overriding concern is to balance safety with our Second Amendment rights. This allows people with mild disabilities like Brent to show they are qualified and competent and can safely use a firearm while hunting.” – State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville)

Sullivan floorSPRINGFIELD – Brent Nicholson is a hunter and has been his whole life. Growing up, his father took Brent and his brother hunting, Brent passed the hunter safety course as a minor and when he turned 18 he applied for and received his Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card.

Brent carried that FOID card for 13 years until last summer, when the Quincy native received a letter from the Illinois State Police requiring him to surrender his FOID card.

Despite years of safely using a firearm while he was hunting without incident, he was forced to give up his FOID card and his right to hunt with a firearm because he has an intellectual disability. Under a 2013 law allowing concealed carry, FOID rules were updated to exclude people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from using firearms.

A proposal allowing people with mild disabilities to appeal an Illinois State Police decision revoking or denying a FOID was approved by the Senate on Thursday. State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) sponsored the legislation.

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