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ISRA/SAF Sue Illinois State Police Over FOID Card Inaction

2/3/2020


In the last few months, we have heard from dozens of people who are having issues with their FOID Card and Concealed Carry applications.

These complaints are not the typical run of the mill complaints. People are having serious issues and it has become obvious that these are not isolated incidents. There is a systemic problem that must be addressed.
 
Months of pleading and phone calls with the Illinois State Police has proven to be fruitless, leaving us no choice but to file a lawsuit. The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have joined together to file a lawsuit in the 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 violated the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens by not acting in a timely manner to act on Firearm Owner Identification Card and Concealed Carry applications.

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.

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. 

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division federal court, says the Governor “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 fund sweeps may be the reason for these delays, but this is not a valid excuse. Law-abiding citizens pay good money in fees for the administration of the FOID Card program. It should not take years for someone to get a FOID application approved. We have tried to work with the State Police on this matter, but nothing is happening. We are left with no other choice but to file a lawsuit.

If you are not already a member of the Illinois State Rifle Association, please join today: https://www.isra.org/Participate/YourMembership/JointheISRA.aspx. 

Also, please consider donating to our Legal Assistance Committee. This is how we can bring cases to court. Your generosity is most appreciated. Donate today  

Look for more updates on this case in future alerts.






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Author: ISRA Staff
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