Former Air Force reservist Michael Thomas says he doesn’t know why a special review board denied his application for a concealed carry license. “I have never been arrested or convicted of any offense, either misdemeanor or felony, in the state of Illinois or any other state,” Thomas said in a follow-up letter to state police. “I have no criminal record of any type.” (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / May 20, 2014)

The Chicago Tribune has an outstanding article about the flood of lawsuits from gun owners in Illinois, many without a single arrest, much less conviction, who have been denied by Illinois’ CCW License Review Board which meets in secret and won’t release any information about their deliberations without a court order.

Gee, does that sound like due process?

It’s not.

And that’s going to change – one way or another.

Brandon Phelps acknowledges the secret tribunal way of operating isn’t working well and says the General Assembly will work to change that next year.

A federal lawsuit may force the Illinois Concealed Carry Review Board to grant due process rights long before then.

Read the story.


Flood of lawsuits over concealed carry denials

Review board has denied more than 800 applications in secret and without explanation

(Chicago Tribune) – After taking a firearms training course, paying a host of fees, and submitting fingerprints for a background check that he ultimately passed, Michael Thomas was puzzled when he was notified earlier this year that a special review board had denied his application for a concealed carry license.

Thomas, a former Air Force reservist who said he routinely carried a gun during military service and has never had a run-in with the law, is one of more than 800 people who have been denied licenses by the board, which meets behind closed doors and keeps its records and reasoning secret, even from applicants who are denied.

Figuring that his was a case of mistaken identity, Thomas wrote to the Illinois State Police to request a review of the decision.

“I have never been arrested or convicted of any offense, either misdemeanor or felony, in the state of Illinois or any other state,” Thomas said in his letter. “I have no criminal record of any type.”

But the state police, in a letter responding to his appeal request, didn’t say why he was denied, and told him that the board’s decisions couldn’t be reviewed and that he would have to petition a court in order to appeal.

So Thomas joined 193 other Illinoisans who have filed lawsuits against the state police to try and peel back the secrecy of the decision-making process.

7 thoughts on “ILLINOIS’ SECRET CCW TRIBUNAL: Flood of lawsuits over carry license denials.”
  1. Could they be using DHS data base and listing of terrorists such as veterans, christians, tea party members, other media reporters, etc.,etc., etc. Feel to include yourself in there. Or maybe differ to the all knowing democratic party.

  2. Secret review boards are not good. If a person is denied a concealed carry permit, he/she should know exactly why, and should not have to pry the info out of the review board or the Illinois State Police. The reason for the denial should accompany the denial letter. Given the cost and all the other hoops a person has to jump through to get a concealed carry permit, I cannot imagine that someone with a criminal past would even apply for a permit. But then some people do not act in accordance with logic.

  3. Goes to all those who supported this debacle of a “carry” law and those who refused to oppose it – claiming it was “better” than what we had before. Hundreds and thousands aren’t even “applying” for their RIGHT because of this very aspect. Many many more have outright lost faith in fighting the fight because the entitled just bowed – tossing the poorest among us under the bus.

    There will be a court order, and then a tiny legislative change and things will be just as they are now – it will be just a call for another set of lawsuits and another IGOLD and of course calls for more donations “needed”.

    I’ll say it again. I told you so.

    1. So you think it’s better for continued lawsuits and ZERO CCW than 60k+ w/ CCW and lawsuits?

      Find one place where an absolutist bill passed first w/o having revisions made. Even Florida, the state that started the CCW landslide over 20 yrs ago is still being improved.

    2. Sounds like the guy who is a moderator over at Illinois Carry is once again injecting his absolutist bad-mouthing of those who actually got *something* passed, even if it was a luke-warm turd.

      All I know is that with his reasoning and leadership, I’d still be wearing a damn fanny pack instead of a loaded Springfield XD-45 today.

      (For the record, I’m usually a Glock guy, but I’m trying out the XD-45. Full-size. Only one spare mag though. It’s more than I want to carry with two spare mags as I typically carry with the G19.)

      Further I liken his criticism that that of a concentration camp survivor trying to sell the notion that fellow concentration camp internees should hold out for a Porterhouse and loaded Hasselback potatoes as the first decent meal in years instead of a Quarter Pounder with fries initially offered.


  4. This law altogether stinks! If you are from Hawaii or South Carolina, you can apply as an out of state resident. Everyone else gets denied automatically, regardless of your resident state license. Illinois residents have to “pray” they’ll get it, even with a clean record. This guy was flagged because he is a vet. Plus, the amount of carry restrictions make this bill a “passify” for gun supporters. They should have fought this bill and let constitutional carry kick in. At the end of the day, the 2nd amendment is very clear! You should not even need a “permission” slip to carry at all! Clearly the thugs are not infringed upon! So why are we??!!

    1. Why don’t you just admit you are Mr.”the blame for this” a$-hloe, I’m sure you will never get your “permission slip”, will you?
      I got mine with no problem and thankful to GSL training, I recommend them heartily.

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