However, and I think the reporter for WLS-TV doesn't quite get Illinois firearms law, an application for a FOID card is not approved immediately. The State Police have up to 30 days to approve it and return it to you. Until you have a valid FOID card in hand, you can't buy a firearm, ammunition, or a Taser.
This is from an email this evening from Thirdpower of Days of Our Trailers blog:
You can apply for your FOID through most FFL's if they're smart. It normally takes 3-4 weeks to get it through the ISP so while you could 'purchase' your firearm by perhaps putting down a down payment, you cannot actually fill out the 4473/NICS check until you have the FOID in your possession. Then there's a 24hr waiting period for long guns and 72 hour for handguns.We will have to wait until the NICS stats are out to get a better idea of just how much actual gun sales rose in Illinois during this period. Nonetheless, this many applications for FOID cards means another 2,900 gun owners are added to the rolls of gunowners in the Land of Lincoln. And THAT is a good thing.
Note: A big thanks to Kurt Hofmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, and Thirdpower for answering my questions so quickly about Illinois gun law and FOID cards. I really appreciate their help!
Thirdpower put together this primer on Illinois gun laws a couple of years ago. It is a good starting place.