Breaking: SAF/ISRA sue IL State Police (again) over FOID delays
From the Second Amendment Foundation:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association today filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force the Illinois State Police (ISP) to comply with the mandated 30-day requirement to issue a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card if the applicant meets all qualifications.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on behalf of D’Andre Bradley, David D. Moore and Tara D. Moore, and Brett O. Shelton. They are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of Wheaton, Ill., Gregory A. Bedell of Chicago, and Jacob Huebert of Phoenix, Ariz. The case is supported by the Goldwater Institute. The lawsuit is known as Bradley v. Kelly.
Named as defendants are ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly and ISP Firearms Services Bureau Chief Jessica Trame, in their official capacities.
“The law requires that the Illinois State Police either approve or deny a FOID card application within 30 days,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “But ISP has been dragging its feet, leaving applicants in limbo for months. Sometimes the agency doesn’t act for as long as 60 or even 90 days. You can bet that if a private citizen had to comply with a legal requirement within 30 days, he or she would be in big trouble for not meeting that deadline.
“This has been going on for years,” he added, “and it has to stop. It is especially important now, with the surge in FOID applications as a response to recent civil unrest that has included looting and violence. Illinois residents expect efficiency, not excuses, and they haven’t been getting it.”
“We’ve been looking at this problem for a long time, gathering information for filing this lawsuit, and that day has finally come,” added Richard Pearson, ISRA executive director.
This is awesome, as it adds on another lawsuit to the one that’s already in the courts that we at Mom-At-Arms had a hand in starting (by dumping our research conducted on 12/2/19):
The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association have filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Illinois State Police, ISP Director Brendan Kelly and Jessica Trame in her official capacity as Bureau Chief of the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau, alleging they have allowed Firearm Owner Identification Card and Concealed Carry applications to languish for interminable periods, thus violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinois citizens.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Illinois residents Ryan A. Thomas and Goran Lazic. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of Wheaton and Gregory Bedell of Chicago. The lawsuit is known asThomas, et.al. v. Illinois State Police, et.al.
The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division federal court, says ISP “has swept or transferred funds totaling more than $29,500,000.00 from the State Police Firearms Services Fund, the State Police Operations Assistance Fund, and the State Police Services Fund away from these funds and into other accounts.” According to the complaint, “The money was to be used for three purposes: administration of the Firearm Owners Identification Card (“FOID Card Act”), background checks for firearm-related services, and concealed carry licensing pursuant to the Firearms Concealed Carry Act (“FCCA”). Instead, the more than $29,500,000.00 has been subject to interfund transfers which are ostensibly to be repaid but which have not been, or swept into other accounts without an obligation to reimburse the funds at all.”
“The sweeping of funds has denied qualified Illinois citizens their rights and the ability to defend themselves and their families,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Because of this practice, ISP processing of FOID and concealed carry applications has slowed to a crawl, allowing paperwork to languish. That’s not just poor performance, it’s pathetic.”
“The citizens of Illinois have been delayed getting their FOID cards for months,” added ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “It is evident that these fund sweeps have caused these delays.”
Thomas has been fighting the system for nearly three years. He had previously held a FOID card and carry license, but lost them simply because he moved out of state for a while. Since his return, to be closer to his children. Lazic had a FOID and CCL appeal pending since 2017 when a charge against him was dismissed and later expunged.
“It is inexcusable that the ISP has simply allowed these cases to gather dust,” Gottlieb said. “Denial of rights under color of law is an abomination to the Second and 14thAmendments of the Constitution and Illinois state law. ISP has had plenty of time to do the right thing, and didn’t. Now we’re asking the court to make them do it.”
Keep hitting them SAF and ISRA! Maybe one day the FOID will be VOID and the legislators that helped create these messes will be held accountable.