Controversial firearms ban law requires owners to submit affidavit by Jan. 1
Last week, the Illinois State Police released rules to implement part of the state’s new firearms ban law. While the new law bans a variety of so-called “assault” rifles, it allows owners of those firearms to lawfully keep possession as long as they submit an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card account before January 1, 2024, affirming they owned the firearm(s) prior to January 10, 2023—the date in which the law took effect.
Under the controversial law, which continues to be the subject of lawsuits making their way through the federal court system, affidavits must include the applicant’s FOID card number and the make, model, caliber, and serial number of each firearm.
The Illinois State Police says it will begin accepting affidavits online starting October 1, and they must be submitted online through a FOID Card account, which can be accessed through ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website or by going directly to www.ispfsb.com/Public/Login.aspx.
State Senator Terri Bryant voted against the measure to ban firearms and believes it violates the United States Constitution and is a major infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Application period for energy bill assistance to open in October
Low-income Illinois families can soon begin to apply to receive financial assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The application period begins Monday, October 2, 2023, under a tiered system, allowing priority groups the first chance to receive available funds, including seniors (age 60 and older), disabled and families with children under the age of 6 years old.
Then, on November 1, 2023, households that are disconnected from their utilities/energy vendors, have a disconnection notice, or have less than 25% in their propane tank can start applying for LIHEAP assistance. All other income eligible households can start applying on December 1, 2023.
The amount of support families can receive varies based on the needs of the applicants, but last year over 311,000 households received an average of over $1,000.
The eligible income thresholds can be found on the Help Illinois Families website. Families can also call the hotline at 1-833-711-0374 if they think they might be eligible for the program.
Nominate outstanding school personnel
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) wants to know more about outstanding educators, administrators, or school professionals.
ISBE will be accepting applications until Oct. 15 for the 2024 Those Who Excel & Teacher of the Year Awards.
Awards are presented in seven categories: classroom teachers, early career educators (teachers 1-4 years), school administrators, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteers, and teams.
Small equipment grants open for local fire departments
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal announced the application period for the Small Equipment Grant Program is now open to eligible fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and not-for-profit ambulance services.
In an effort to address the financial hardships many fire departments face, the Small Equipment Grant Program provides grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. Under the program, $4 million is available and qualified departments must apply by December 15, 2023.
Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply.
Upcoming Senior Fair
On Friday, October 6, State Senator Terri Bryant will be partnering with State Representative Dave Severin to host a Senior Health Fair at Frontier Community College in Fairfield.
The Senior Fair is completely free to the public and will have a variety of local vendors on hand to discuss programs and services that benefit seniors.