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Illinois Judge Rules FOID Card Requirement For Guns In Home Unconstitutional

By Dan Zimmerman via TTAG and republished with permission.

Under current law, it’s not legal to touch a firearm in the state of Illinois without a Firearm Owner’s Identification card. This is an unnecessary hurdle to lawful gun ownership that the state of Illinois has erected to make the process of purchasing and owning a firearm more difficult and expensive.

And then there’s the fact that the Illinois State Police take months to process the applications for FOID cards and have been sued over the delays.

The FOID requirement is a clear violation of the right to keep and bear arms for residents of the Land of Lincoln. No other civil right requires a fee and state-issued permit in order to exercise it. Now an Illinois judge has agreed with that viewpoint, at least as far as guns owned and kept within the home are concerned.

Here’s the Second Amendment Foundation’s press release . . .

An Illinois Circuit Court Judge in White County has ruled the requirement for possessing a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card to possess a gun in the home is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The case is known as Illinois v. Vivian Claudine Brown. Her case is supported by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association. According to Brown’s attorney, David Sigale of Wheaton, Illinois, this is the second time a judge has declared the FOID Card Act unconstitutional, dismissing the charges against Brown, who had a bolt-action rifle in her home, but did not possess an FOID card.

“The FOID Card requirement in order to exercise the constitutionally enumerated right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment clearly goes too far in this case,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. As White County Circuit Judge T. Scott Webb notes in his ruling, ‘It simply cannot be the case that a citizen must pay a fee in order to exercise a core individual Second Amendment right within their own home.’ For too long, Illinois has been treating this right like a regulated government privilege and that needs to stop.”

In his ruling, Judge Webb observed, “If the right to bear arms and self-defense are truly core rights, there should be no burden on the citizenry to enjoy those rights, especially within the confines and privacy of their own homes.”

This second ruling on FOID card constitutionality could clear a direct path back to the Illinois State Supreme Court, Gottlieb and attorney Sigale agree.

“The idea that an Illinois resident doesn’t enjoy Second Amendment rights until he or she pays a $10 fee for a FOID card is outrageous,” Gottlieb said. “Nowhere should such a mandate be allowed to stand.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 700,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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