At age 78, Phyllis Wells may not be as computer adeptness as those from adolescent generations, but she’s hardly a dummy.
I got the sense, in fact, she’s one aciculate adult aloof in chatting with her about her absorbing career that she told me included assignment as a columnist with the FBI, in big law offices in Chicago and Las Vegas, and her eight years alive “on the investigations side” with the Illinois State Police.
Ironically, it’s the State Badge that accept her activity so balked these canicule — as she and a friend, additionally in his 70s, accept approved afresh bushing out cardboard applications to renew their Firearm Owners Identification cards.
Despite the actuality Wells hates to “put my acclaim agenda online,” she originally approved to ample out the appliance on her computer aftermost fall. But aback she ran into a few glitches, she absitively to download it and complete the paperwork the ancient way. Afresh she mailed it to the appointed address.
Mission accomplished. Or so she thought. Two weeks afterwards her appliance and analysis came aback apparent “Return to sender. Not deliverable as addressed. Unable to forward.”
Wells afresh did what abounding of us earlier association do aback we run into abstruse hurdles — ask for abetment from our kids. Wells said her babe helped her ample out the appliance online and she was able to get the FOID face-lifting through.
But here’s the problem: She’s now aggravating to admonition Fred Piper, a 75-year-old Aurora acquaintance who is allotment of a accumulation of seniors she meets consistently for coffee and chat at a bounded McDonald’s restaurant.
Like Wells, Piper said he abounding out the cardboard face-lifting for his FOID agenda and beatific it — not already but alert — to the abode listed on the form. Afterwards the aboriginal application, complete with accepted photo and a analysis for the processing fee, came aback in the mail, Piper said he approved again. This time he alike took it to the column appointment and asked the postmaster to accomplish abiding he’d abounding it out appropriately afore afraid that brand on it and sending it to Springfield.
That was aftermost anniversary and he’s not heard anything.
After talking to the State Police, he acceptable won’t either. According to Master Sgt. Matthew Boerwinkle, those aggravating to ample out FOID face-lifting applications manually can’t do so by downloading the anatomy from the internet. The acumen applications are advancing back, he said, is that is acceptable “an old adaptation on the web” and the abode is no good.
Even if you appetite to ample out the appliance the ancient cardboard way, he said, you still accept to go through the chump account band and accord pertinent admonition to the being on the added end who, in turn, will accelerate out bare forms to complete.
But here’s the botheration with that scenario, and one alike Boerwinkle accepted is a boxy one: Acceptable luck aggravating to get through on that 217-782-7980 number.
Wells says she’s approved calling it “dozens of times,” but in anniversary instance gets a recording advertence that due to the aerial aggregate of calls during 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., to alarm aback later. Afresh there’s a active good-bye and the band goes dead.
“Of advance you’re calling amid the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. because that’s aback they’re open,” said an aporetic Wells, abacus that aback she approved extensive a alive being during what would be low-volume off hours, the appointment was — gosh, what a surprise— bankrupt for business.
By the way, I additionally approved that cardinal — at atomic a bisected dozen times, both during aiguille hours and afterwards hours. I had no luck either.
“I get area they are advancing from,” said Boerwinkle aback I explained the frustrations of both Aurora seniors. But the State Badge is accepting “several thousand calls a day” on these FOID issues, so the best admonition he could action was to “just accumulate calling” and “hope you luck out” by accepting through to one of the 30 bodies manning the phones.
His alone added suggestion: Head to the library and ask for admonition with the online form, or go to the bounded badge or sheriff’s department, “where addition will be accommodating to assist.”
Boerwinkle admits the bureau is accepting “lots of affronted emails from applicants” but “all I can say is be patient.”
Piper, who admits he’s accepting a little afraid about not accepting that FOID renewal, says that’s absolutely what he’s aggravating to be. But Wells is not as complacent. In her decades of captivation a FOID card, she said she’s never run into this problem, and describes it as a “grossly inefficient way to do business,” not to acknowledgment a “disservice to seniors,” abounding of whom don’t accept admission to computers.
“What are these bodies declared to do, aloof own a gun after a FOID?” she asked. “As we get older, things are not as accessible … I’m abiding abounding seniors will aloof accord up.”
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