Second Amendment

Chicago Residents Wait Months for Permission To Defend Themselves

Despite an alarming increase in crime, Illinois is illegally delaying gun licenses.


If you live in Chicago, you might be thinking about buying a gun to protect yourself, your family, your home, or your business against rioters, looters, and assorted violent criminals. But before you can exercise your Second Amendment rights in Illinois, you need permission from the state police, a process that can take months.

Contrary to a state law that requires approval or denial of an application for a firearm owner's identification (FOID) card within 30 days, Illinois residents often wait two or three times as long. Such delays are plainly unconstitutional, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of four Chicago area residents and two gun rights groups.

The violent unrest that Chicago saw this week is the latest manifestation of a pattern that emerged in late May, when rioters and looters marred protests against police brutality provoked by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, homicides in Chicago are up 55 percent as of August 2 compared to the same period last year.

All this alarming criminal activity has been accompanied by a surge in applications for FOID cards, which Illinois residents need to legally possess any sort of firearm. On June 2 alone, the CBS station in Chicago reports, the Illinois State Police (ISP) received nearly 5,000 applications—"more than the previous eight days combined."

At the time, the ISP said it was taking an average of 51 days to process FOID applications. Since that is an average, it means many people were waiting even longer.

The lead plaintiff in the Goldwater Institute lawsuit is D'Andre Bradley, a Marine veteran and Illinois National Guard member who applied for a FOID card in late April. Three other plaintiffs applied in March; one of them was approved after four months but still had not received his card when the lawsuit was filed on July 20.

Illinois is one of just two states where residents need a license to possess long guns as well as handguns. In theory, the process is straightforward: As long as you are not legally disqualified from owning a firearm (because of a felony record, for example), the ISP has to give you a FOID card.

But the program has for years been plagued by insufficient funding and staffing. According to the Illinois State Rifle Association, another plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, FOID delays are only getting worse.

"This is a basic civil rights issue," Bradley says. "Everyone has a fundamental right to self-defense. If the state is going to require a license to exercise that right, then it should at least respect its own time limit."

Illinois politicians, especially in Chicago, do not seem especially keen to respect that fundamental right. The city's handgun ban, which it vigorously defended to the end, was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 2010 case.

After that defeat, Chicago passed an ordinance that required would-be handgun owners to receive training at firing ranges and simultaneously banned all such businesses within the city. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit blocked enforcement of that ordinance in 2011.

A year later, the 7th Circuit overturned an Illinois law that prohibited the carrying of accessible firearms outside of one's home or business. Noting the Second Amendment's historical context, the appeals court concluded that "a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home."

The repeated assaults on the Second Amendment in Illinois suggest that neither legislators nor the ISP can be counted on to fix the state's FOID problem. Hence the lawsuit.

Jacob Huebert, the lead attorney on the case, says "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—or just end the FOID scheme altogether." Given the potential for bureaucratic neglect and mischief, the latter option seems preferable.

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Putin Pulls an 'August Surprise' With His COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Announcement

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This will not improve once gun grabber Biden and his moll Harris are in office.

    1. So it WILL improve.

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…VDf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

        Here’s what I do………► Cash Mony System

    2. ●▬▬▬▬PART TcIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●

      I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……
      ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓


    3. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…VDf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do………►Only USA Real Check my site.

  2. They need to end the FOID requirement altogether.

    Pretty much every other state has no issues with not having one of these cards.

    1. Indeed. I wish some journalist (well, they used to exist) would ask Illinois pols “Why do you think the citizens of your state are dumber and less responsible than the citizens of other states?”

    2. All gun control laws are unconstitutional.

      Background checks, licensing of gun owners, permits, gun bans, ammo bans…. are all illegal violations of the 2nd Amendment.

    3. This is the part I don’t understand. Name any other part of the Bill Of Rights that says you have these Rights as long as you ask for permission first. That’s a positive right of read that way.

      Even if you take a strict reading of the 2A, the regulation should come AFTER a firearm is in possession, and not before. Of course, such a reading is false anyway since the regulation part is the subordinate clause of the sentence and regulation is used improperly in that context.

      I think the issue the Founders made was to write in complex sentences that the average person can’t deconstruct and to use words where the definition they are using is the third or deeper instance.

    4. Pretty much every other state has no fewer issues with not having one of these cards.

      More populous cities and states have lower incidents of gun crime and gun violence without them. The main purpose of the FOID is to fleece residents and trump up illegal weapons possession charges against minorities.

    5. So you don’t live in NJ then?

  3. Nothing new and its been going on for at least 10 years.
    Between 2008 and 2012 I recall it being typical to wait 3 months.

  4. It was a mistake to file this lawsuit in Federal court. The makeup of the 7th circuit court of appeals has changed for the worse with President Trump’s four appointments. And, of course, every district court judge in Illinois was confirmed with the approval of the two leftwing *********** senators. That means the case will lose in the district court and it will lose on appeal.

  5. Something similar is happening in Philadelphia. I live in the suburbs and was able to make an appointment with my sheriff to submit the renewal for my carry permit. It expires in October and they are claiming that I won’t get my new permit until December. There is some hope that Gov. Wolf will extend the expiration dates, like he has done with drivers licenses.

    But my friend who lives in the city can’t make an appointment for his renewal. Every time he calls, he gets a busy signal. Not a recording or VM, but a busy signal. When is the last time you heard one of those? It seems pretty clear that the city of Philadelphia, who has a record of interfering with the rights of gun owners, is using this as an opportunity to get rid of permit holders.

  6. It’s bad enough when the government won’t defend you, but when they won’t defend you and they prohibit you from defending yourself, it’s time to declare that the social contract is broken and therefore null and void.

  7. I’m kinda surprised people aren’t just bypassing the law entirely. I mean, what are they gonna do, send in the cops? “hi yes, I know we’ve cut your pay and fired your friends, and have been asking you to do double shifts for the last week due to the rioting, but we want you to now go kick in the door of a paranoid gun owner who’s only crime is trying to defend himself from the rioters. We need you to make an example out of him for not allowing himself to be robbed and murdered”

    See how that plays out. I’m sure the cops are just chomping at the bit to be first through that door.

  8. Just go down to the corner and buy a gun from Ray Ray.

  9. A constitutional right that you can exercise only if you first obtain a permission slip from the government?

    1. Welcome to Ill-annoys.

  10. (with sincerest apologies to Langston Hughes)
    What happens to a right deferred?

    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?

    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?

  11. The lead plaintiff in the Goldwater Institute lawsuit is D’Andre Bradley…who applied for a FOID card in late April. Three other plaintiffs applied in March; one of them was approved after four months but still had not received his card when the lawsuit was filed on July 20.

    Cue the NYC strategy: The plaintiffs’ applications will be approved the day before arguments are due to start and the state will declare the issue moot. Lather, rinse, regurgitate.

    1. They did a similar trick with a 19 year old military member who was denied a FOID for lack of a parental signature… stalled the case in court until the plaintiff turned 21, then moved for dismissal due to lack of standing.

  12. gun violence in Chicago predated George Floyd’s birth by 100 years

  13. I know this is a brave thing to say from a free state where the only “permit” I need is 2A, but fuck the civil courts. Someone should apply for a FOID, wait the 30 days, and then just start carrying.

    Make the state prosecute this in criminal court and see how they fare, or make them drop the charges and let every gun owner in the state know that the FOID card is worthless.

    1. Oh the FOID is just to buy and own a gun, there’s a separate permit to carry, which takes another 90-120 days to issue, after you have your FOID

      1. Oh yeah, IL also doesn’t do the 72 hour-proceed thing for background checks, an FFL can’t transfer a firearm until the background check is complete, which is also taking up to 2 week or more right now

      2. Also, unless you build the gun yourself, you can’t just ‘start carrying’. It’s possible to find people who will sell you guns without an FOID, but none of them will be FFLs and all of them will be liable for straw man purchases. The only other wasy to ‘start carrying’ would be to go across state lines to purchase a gun which causes a whole other mess of trouble.

      3. Buying a handgun out-of-state violates federal law, unless you have it shipped to a FFL (federally licensed gun dealer) in your state of residence – and FFLs in Illinois are required by state law to ask for the FOID. An Illinois resident can buy a rifle or shotgun in Indiana, and it only becomes illegal when they return to Illinois, but it isn’t practical to carry a long gun for protection outside the home.

        The best solution (unless you’re ready to protect your rights by shooting the officials violating them): DON’T return to Illinois.

  14. I wonder what I’ll. pols would say if asked whether a right delayed is a right denief.

    1. I’ll. should be Ill.

    2. they’ll just say that 2A isn’t a real right, because it’s supposed to be for a government militia

  15. This is a glimpse into our anarcho-tyranny future. Millions of Americans live under a regime that will allow criminals to walk the streets after assaulting an individual, they are unable to secure property from rioting mobs, claiming they lack the resources to do so.

    What little resources they have are thrown full force at the law abiding. They have no problem arresting and prosecuting those who dare attempt to protect their business from the mob (see Minneapolis), they routinely block citizens from being able to protect themselves (see St. Louis couple), and they have a regulatory set up so invasive that entire careers are made from simply helping people navigate it.

    Take a good look at what’s happening in our inner cities today, this is our future.

  16. This may not end well. The same thing is happening in New Jersey, and has been for years. Someone sued because the state has a timeframe specified in the law in which the state must issue the permit. However, in typical NJ fashion, the judge ruled that the safety of the people is more important than the state meeting the deadline specified in the law. Therefore, the timeframe is only a guideline, not something the state is beholden to.

    Talk about legislating from the bench.

  17. job opportunity for everyone! Work from comfort of your home, on your computer And you cAn work with your own working hours. You cAn work this job As A pArt time or As A full time job. You cAn eArn from 65$ An hour to 1000$ A dAy! There is no limitAtions, it All depends from you And how much you wAnt to eArn eAch dAy…..More detail here.

  18. Chicago has always been ruled by gangsters. The Daley family, Capone, Disciples, Latin Kings, the police department. The list goes on. Who is it now, c’mon you don’t for a minute think they are any different.

    Somebody above said something about the future. This is Chicago. Look into the past.

    Last thing any of them want is for you and I to just walk into a gun shop and buy one.

  19. Democrats hate the 2nd Amendment and firearms almost as much as they love Other People’s Money and abortion.

  20. This is Really Good oputunity for everyone who wana make a big amount at home own laptop And make your family happy so can u do>> Click For Full Detail.

  21. I suggest a pistol caliber carbine for home defense against mobs of peaceful protestors.
    A CZ Scorpion, Vector, MP5 clone, AK 9 or AR 9 has a 30 round magazine, is lightweight, and quick on multiple targets.
    With a red dot you can easily make hits out to 100 yards.
    If you want a more powerful cartridge, there are pcc’s in 10 mm and .45
    Some even take Glock magazines for commonality with your handgun.

    1. Some even take Glock magazines for commonality with your handgun.

      Double-stack, single-feed 30 rd. magazines suck. If you think you have need for 30 rds. per magazine get a proper magazine/gun. And, yes, I’m dubious about any situation where a carbine would be phenomenally better but only if it used the same magazine as your handgun (or vice versa). IMO, it only makes sense if you’re managing the logistics for a larger defense force.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.