July 23, 2020
By Mark Chesnut
Four Chicago-area residents, aided by the Goldwater Institute, have filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to force the state of Illinois to issue firearms owners identification (FOID) cards within the timetable prescribed by state law.
The suit, Bradley vs. Kelly, seeks to force the state to live up to the requirement to issue FOIDs to qualified residents within 30 days. One plaintiff, D’Andre Bradley, is a retired Marine living in Chicago Heights who has waited more than two months since applying and has still not heard anything from the state.
Jacob Huebert, a senior attorney at the Goldwater Institute, is the institute’s lead attorney in the case. He says the fact that the state won’t issue permits in the timetable set by law is indefensible.
“For five years, D’Andre Bradley stood ready to defend his country as a U.S. Marine,” Huebert wrote in a recent blog post at the In Defense of Liberty website. “But today—as violent crime is raging in Chicago—he is limited in his ability to defend his Chicago Heights home and his family, all because the state of Illinois is preventing him from exercising his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“Now, he’s one of four law-abiding Chicago-area residents who have teamed up with the Goldwater Institute to sue the state of Illinois to ensure that their Second Amendment rights are protected.”
In truth, all Illinois residents have their Second Amendment right grotesquely infringed by the state’s FOID scheme. Without being issued a FOID card, no law-abiding residents in the state can purchase a gun legally, while violent criminals continue to buy, sell and steal guns at will.
Huebert said the state has recently admitted that the average amount of time for a FOIA card to be issued is 52 days, nearly twice as long as the law allows.
“But for Bradley and the other plaintiffs—who diligently applied for a card and qualify under the law—owning a gun is a virtual impossibility because the state has failed to issue cards within the 30 days required under the law,” he said. “In fact, the state is taking as long as 60 days, 90 days, or even longer to issue licenses.”
Huebert hopes the lawsuit can get the state to stop ignoring the law and leaving law-abiding citizens endangered in a city where shootings are becoming more and more common.
“Now it’s time for the courts to end the FOID card delays that are indefinitely and completely denying thousands of Illinoisans their Second Amendment rights,” he said, “or just end the FOID scheme altogether.”
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.