* Press release…
The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation 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.
“We’ve been looking at this problem for a long time, gathering information for filing this lawsuit, and that day has finally come,” said Richard Pearson, ISRA executive director. “These delays have gone on long enough. We had hoped to avoid litigation, but at this moment, we have no choice.”
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.”
The suit is here.
*** UPDATE *** From the Illinois State Police…
The Illinois State Police agree FOID applications should be processed quickly and within the statutory guidelines. Financial instability brought on by the lack of a budget in the prior administration greatly impacted the processing of FOID applications by the Firearms Services Bureau. Gov. Pritzker’s budget and the fiscal assurance it brings will allow the ISP to continue efforts to hire at least 32 additional analysts and invest in technology upgrades. This year alone, FSB processed 65,969 new FOID applications.
Nonetheless, with an explosion of applications and firearms purchases during the pandemic and current events — 62,832 FOID applications and 65,222 FTIP applications just last month — broader legislative remedies to streamline and modernize the FOID process will be necessary to meet statutory timelines. We look forward to working with all interested parties and members of the general assembly to reach those solutions.
The Firearms Services Bureau is committed to resolving the issues and meeting our public safety mission.
The number of new FOID applications received from June 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 totals 62,823 compared to 25,359 for the same time period in 2019 resulting in an increase of 148%.