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Supreme Court rules out-of-staters don’t need FOID cards - Gun bill dies in House

Friday, Apr 8, 2011

* The Illinois Supreme court stepped in and declared yesterday that out-of-staters do not need a FOID card if they travel in Illinois with their guns. The non-residents couldn’t get a FOID card anyway, since only Illinois residents qualify. They still need to make sure their guns are permitted in their home states, however

The case stems from an incident in 2005 when a Indiana man was arrested for a having a gun in a closed backseat armrest in his car.

He was charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon because he didn’t have a FOID card and he didn’t have the gun in a case.

The court ruled that since he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Indiana he didn’t need a FOID card as well.


“As the majority points out, if we were to strictly apply the FOID card requirement … nonresidents whose weapons are unloaded and enclosed in a case but who do not have an Illinois FOID card would be guilty of a felony,” Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman wrote.

For the southern Illinois city of Sparta, the ruling was a matter of economic survival. Sparta is home to the $50 million World Shooting & Recreational Complex. Chris Hespen works for the complex and said it hosted about 300 shooting events during 2010.

During its biggest event, the Armature Trapshooting Association’s Grand American, the complex saw sport shooters from across the nation and from 17 countries, according to Hespen. He said Thursday’s ruling diverted an economic disaster.

“It would have been detrimental and crippling,” Hespen said. “This facility here, yeah we offer day use and walk-in outdoor sportsmen an opportunity to recreationally shoot, but this facility is written and built for tournaments and competitive shooting events.”

* Earlier this week, the House voted down a bill that some saw as sort of a test vote for concealed carry

House lawmakers [Wednesday] defeated a measure that would have taken away Chicago’s ability to regulate how people store guns, a prelude to an expected spring showdown over a push to allow people to carry concealed weapons.

The debate put on display the Capitol’s traditional regional fight over gun rights and gun control, with conservative suburbanites and downstate lawmakers wanting to expand rights and Chicago-area Democrats wanting to restrict access to weapons. […]

The state legislation, sponsored by freshman Rep. Wayne Rosenthal, R-Morrisonville, have specifically given the state exclusive power to regulate firearms and disallow Chicago and other larger cities with home-rule power from establishing their own restrictions. Rosenthal maintained there should be a “consistent standard” statewide. […]

The House vote was 61-48, which is normally enough to pass a bill. But the gun measure needed 71 votes because it would have superseded the authority of home-rule powers of Chicago and other large communities in Illinois.

Todd Vandermyde with the NRA explained to me that they were missing 5 votes Wednesday and said the two issues were different with “different players.” One might assume that they didn’t press members as hard, either, because they want that concealed carry bill to pass. Even so, that’s not a great roll call, even if you add in those missing five members.

* Campers, you know I love you all dearly, each and every one of you. But these gun-related comment threads are driving me a little batty. Please, try your very best not to use stale, ready-made talking points. Be original. And be kind to each other. Also, it’s Friday. Let’s have a little peace. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 9:43 am:

    Okay Rich, I'’l start. I don’t like conceal carry and I never will. People here though have made me realize that’s my emotional response and not a rational, thought out opinion. I’m never going to be happy with the idea there’s people on the L with me who are packing, but I can’t argue with people when they’re being reasonable.

  2. - Jasper - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:04 am:

    Wow, Todd lost.
    Based on the poll that he released last week (was it this week?), maybe it is time for him to, I don’t know, maybe try to reach out past his usual base. Do the whole “lobbying” thing. It is worth a try if, as he pointed out, once people know the facts there is broad support.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    That was quite a Heller moment for the Indiana dude — Joseph Heller.

    “You’re under arrest for not having an Illinois FOID card.”

    “How can I get one of those?”

    “You can’t.”

    In addition to the Sparta shooters, does that mean out-of-state hunters have been at risk for this charge? Not exactly good for tourism.

  4. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    Does this mean my Californian friends won’t bet busted in Illinois if they have some medicinal marijuana on them while ice skating on top of the Hancock?

  5. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:31 am:

    I’m really feeling the love here, Rich. I’m all warm inside.

    Good for Heller - hard to imagine being in such a Kafkaesque situation as described.

    Could also be we’re in for a letdown if the numbers don’t change. IRA may have to settle for a comprimise re the home rule thing. I wonder how long it would be for someone in Chicago to challenge that ruling?

  6. - just sayin' - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:33 am:

    This doesn’t authorize concealed carry in Illinois though right by out of staters? I didn’t read the case yet only the news, but I’m assuming we’re just talking about it being okay to transport within the state?

    Surely an Indiana resident who works in Illinois still wouldn’t be able to legally concealed carry when he comes over during the day for work.

    Someone tell me if I’m wrong about this.

  7. - dupage dan - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    just sayin’,

    It looks like the ruling said that the backseat armrest equaled a gun case. So, it is not a CC issue.

  8. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    There’s a huge regional/cultural disconnect between the downstaters and the urbanites and suburban liberals. They just live in different worlds. There’s a large percentage of hunters and recreational shooters downstate who are not gun nuts or pistol-fondlers, but for whom the gun-related problems in Chicago and ESL are unfathomable. And please, less concealed carrying of loaded guns. Please. Let the cops do it.

  9. - Esteban - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    I generally suppoort the idea of “concealed carry” but the incident with Trooper Ken Snider
    in the tavern gives one pause for reflection…..

  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 10:48 am:

    JS, from my read, he still had to answer for not having the gun in a case, which would have effectively put it out of reach and not constitute conceal carry.

    The coppers just aren’t allowed to add the extra charge of not having an FOID card, which non-residents can’t get anyway.

    So, no, the Supremes are not allowing those with conceal carry permits in other states to do so in Illinois.

  11. - John A Logan - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 1:19 pm:

    Here is a helpful map of the 50 states and the progression of right to carry since 1986. Just another example of how backward this state is on this issue.

  12. - Jasper - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    John A Logan:

    You may have missed this part of the original story:

    “Please, try your very best not to use stale, ready-made talking points. Be original.”

    Just a head’s up.

  13. - Liandro - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 1:56 pm:

    I just have to give props to the very suitable Catch-22 reference.

  14. - Logic not emotion - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 3:35 pm:

    I think the State Supremes made the right judgment.

    Although the preemption bill was good and did have a majority, I think the priority on that particular preemption bill is not as high as it is for the license to carry bill. If you have some tough votes, it is probably smart to save them for the LTC bill.

    At some point, hopefully this year, enough Illinois legislators will look at other states and realize everyone’s fears are just fears. All those bad things they envision haven’t happened in the other states. I would also think that the legislators would follow the law enforcement associations’ desires somewhat on firearms policies. I understand that the Illinois Sheriffs Association, Chiefs of Police Association, and the Chicago Police Department Lieutenants Association are supporting passage of HB0148. The law enforcement groups seem to be solidly behind it.

  15. - Todd - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 4:49 pm:

    the Court case dealt with two issues. First was did the backseat armrest meet the definition of a case under the UUW statute. They reaffirmed their ruling in Diggins that it did. Basicly if it has a lid and can be latch, a compartment of a vehicle is considered a case or container, for the Act.

    Second, the real ubsurd part of this case was that they charged a guy with a felony for not having a FOID, when he was a non-resident. Go listen to the oral arguements on this one and you’ll drop your jaw at the County’s presentation.

    They argued that the two statutes should not be read in tandem. Why I’m not sure , but the Court completely blew that out of the water with a unanimous ruling and Justice Garman going deeper in the FOID Act in a special concurring opinion.

    The the basics if this are that comparments, like center consoles, armrest and glove boxes with a latch meet the definition of case or container for transporting an unloaded firearm.

    2. Non-residents do not need a FOID card to transport or posses a firearm.

    All in all a good solid ruling. Now, if Cook County SA wants to keep pushing these Bull!@#t cases, I believe we will start filig ARDC complaints against their prosecutors, and seeking 1983 suits with damages.

    The fact is a man was following the law, was wrongfully convicted of a felony and took 6 years to clear his name. How would you like to be an attorney, and lose your licesne for 6 years and spend 10s of thousands of dollars to clear your name for following the law?

    Cook SA had beet plumb up or they may find themselves in some very unconfortable litigation and pointed questions in fron of the Genral Assembly.

  16. - Todd - Friday, Apr 8, 11 @ 5:59 pm:

    The Cook County SA can either get in line with what the Court has said is legal conduct.

    I don’t have much use for people who like to make up the law as they go along, and when they take average people and run them through the grinder becuase they don’t like guns or the Second Amendment.

    And I don’t plan on hiding my disdain for such people. Now we have legal recourses if they choose to continue on the same path. And they have been tipped off that there will be consequences.

    The differance is I’m will to spell out that we will seek ARDC complaints against her office for bad malicious prosecutions. I’ll be open and upfront about.

    If you don’t like my frankness, oh well. But since you are not my sheriff, it’s not your decision to make.

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