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ISP sued over FOID backlog

Friday, Jan 31, 2020

* Press release…

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 as Thomas, 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 14th Amendments 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.”

* But

Illinois State Police officials said they are working through a backlog of FOID renewal requests. Last month, the agency reported a backlog of more than 60,000 applications.

“The FOID card this year is a huge issue with the renewals,” state Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said. “Having people nervous about having their Second Amendment right taken away because we’re behind on getting their new FOID card – that’s a big issue.”

Anderson said he doesn’t blame state police.

“We’re in one of those ten-year cycles where everybody’s FOID card is coming up for renewal at the same time,” he said.

The lawsuit is here. Background on the sweeps is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    Amen.


  2. - Rutro - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    Mine took about a month last year, blah blah


  3. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    The wait has always been annoying, but it isn’t life or death as the 1 of 27 amendmenters want you to think.


  4. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    I fully expect appointed federal judges who are / were members of the Federalist Society to say fund sweeps are a political issue to be solved through political means, not judicial rulings. /s


  5. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    Oh, and this is what happens when nobody wants to pay their bills. This is the perfect place to cut since I already have my FOID and CCL. lol.


  6. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    ===Denial of rights under color of law is an abomination to the Second and 14th Amendments of the Constitution===

    Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe we shall overcome some day.


  7. - Kevin Highland - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    (430 ILCS 65/1) (from Ch. 38, par. 83-1)
    Sec. 1. …it is necessary and in the public interest to provide a system of identifying persons who are not qualified to acquire or possess firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers…
    (Source: P.A. 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)

    A law that was created to identify Unqualified persons is implemented by charging and tracking qualified persons. Shouldn’t the inability to own a firearm be a restriction on your state issued id or driver’s license. It seems this was implemented with the presumption of guilt on the part of all who would own a firearm.

    Since the administrative fees aren’t being used as required by law that would also seem to make them taxes which would make the law unconstitutional.

    Sadly the law suit only addresses processing times and damages; not the unconstitutionality of the law.


  8. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jan 31, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    Makes for a nice fundraising email for ISRA.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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