Republican platform confusion: Does the Illinois GOP support firearm owner registration?

June 11, 2012

Updated at 10:42 p.m.

Republican Party officials in Illinois voted for a new platform that opposes gun owner registration. But due to a drafting error, that statement didn't make it into the document.

Illinois Republicans made some changes to their platform this past weekend during a convention in Tinley Park. One change relates to FOID cards, or the Firearm Owner's Identification program.

The old platform called for the "[c]ontinued use of the Firearm Owners Identification system." But on Friday, the GOP Platform Committee voted to insert language urging the repeal of FOID requirements.

In the haste of getting the final document ready, the FOID statement was left off the document distributed at a "general session" of GOP delegates. They approved it on Saturday.

Reviewing his notes on Monday afternoon, a party parliamentarian acknowledged the omission was a mistake. Lawyer Craig Burkhardt said he has now officially added the firearm language to the platform. The change was made later in the day to the platform posted on the Illinois Republican Party website.

Burkhardt said he has authority to amend the platform, because the committee on Friday granted him the power to clean up language and make changes that reflect its positions.

A party's platform is supposed to lay out principles all its candidates are expected to espouse.

Changing versions

2008 PLATFORM: Endorsed the "[c]ontinued use of the Firearm Owners Identification system and use of criminal and mental background checks by licensed firearms dealers."

2012 PLATFORM, as passed by Illinois GOP's Platform and Resolutions Committee: Endorsed background checks, calls for repeal of the FOID.

2012 PLATFORM, as presented to general session of the party: Endorsed background checks, but is mute on support or opposition for FOID.

2012 PLATFORM, as posted on party's website late Monday: Endorsed background checks, calls for "statutory repeal of the Firearm Owners Identification Card."