Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan is frustrated by more than the fact she’s isn’t the nation’s best looking attorney general. She’s also crabby about two hundred plus individual appeals of Illinois Concealed Carry License denials that have swamped local circuit courts and left her office stretched thin defending the denials.
Illinois new Firearms Concealed Carry License Act law allows for local police agencies to submit objections to concealed carry applicants for a variety of reasons, including those that didn’t result in arrest, much less a conviction. Those objections are referred to the newly created Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board (CCLRB) for a supposedly impartial review, by a preponderance of the evidence, as to whether the applicant is a danger to themselves or the general public.
Given that our governor has as much love for gun owners as the rest of us do for child sex offenders, it’s not a surprise that his appointees to this board aren’t exactly civil rights champions.
There are many problems with the system, not the least of which is a complete lack of due process rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution. The CCLRB’s deliberations are secret and there is no right for the applicants to submit a rebuttal to the objections issued or to cross-examine witnesses. Applicants are not notified of the nature of the accusation or even which police agency submitted the objection.
Hundreds of gun owners, denied their application through this flawed system, have at great personal expense, appealed to their local courts. This flood of suits has Lisa Madigan’s office very busy defending the appeals and she’s seeking to have them all tossed back to the CCLRB for a second look.
The Illinois State Police have also announced new emergency rules which mandate that the kangaroo court-like CCLRB disclose the reason for the denial – and it offers those rejected a mere ten days to appeal the determination.
Ten days. How generous, right?
Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA’s contract lobbyist in Illinois, offered his thoughts of the mess at Capitol Fax, an influential blog that covers Illinois State government.
The Review Board created a lot of this problem themselves. They read the statute in a conflicting way. How they could not provide any real information on why someone was denied is beyond me.
And [Cook County Sheriff Tom] Dart using any excuse they can drum up to file an objection because they didn’t get their own permit process or may issue is just reason they should be on the hook for these types of appeals and the fees incurred.
People always want to know why gun guys oppose lots and lots of bills when people tell us, “we only want to do this” or “this is so reasonable”.
Well here you have what should be a shall issue permit, with limited exceptions for Law Enforcement to object, and we have a Board that can’t even get the name of an individual to match up with the criminal record despite having fingerprints that say HE IS NOT the guy being objected to.
In this case the benefit of the doubt was given to the state to get it right and they blew it. Not only that but you have at least two cop shops making a mockery of some of this.
CPD actually filed an object that based in part on the guy having been cited for violating the registration ordinance about 10 years ago. an ordinance that no longer exists due to the Supreme Court, the 7th CA and our state preemption.
And some of you wonder why gun guy oppose all these anti-gun bills or new regulations.
Also, Guns Save Life president John Boch also posted the following at Capitol Fax.
Those suits have each been initiated at great expense by individuals who have no criminal records and few, if any arrests.
It’s not cheap to hire a competent attorney to file a circuit court action to seek simple due process that should have been granted in the first place. Further, the law said if people object to the review board’s decision that they take it to the courts. And that’s where they are, at roughly $3k-7k in legal expenses later (and counting) – and the attorneys involved project those cases to take a year or two to resolve. All because the State wouldn’t give them the basic due process that the Constitution demands.
For Lisa to now ask all of those cases to go back to the review board, I think she’s asking a lot more than she’s entitled to.
I know of several folks who have one or more carry permits from states like Florida. They have no prior arrests or indicators of violence, but who do wish to exercise their right to carry a means to protect themselves outside of their homes. They have FOID cards and are law-abiding citizens. A few are even quite competent firearm instructors – including at least one or two formerly ISP-approved CCW instructors).
In one case, the only objection was a temporary restraining order filed by the man’s wife to strengthen her negotiating position during a bitter child custody fight as part of divorce proceedings. The temporary OP was dismissed and his FOID card immediately restored two weeks later.
Another case was a guy who got into a peeing match with Bloomington PD who have been especially objection happy. A FOIA request revealed the current chief advocated for an objection for another guy who injured some man he was fighting with in a bar twenty or thirty years ago. If that had been a criminal act, surely the applicant would have netted a felony conviction and lost the ability to have a FOID card. Instead, I suspect it was self-defense and here comes the Bloomington PD to the rescue to save us from a man who was simply defending himself.
If Lisa Madigan wants to reduce the numbers of cases in the courts, she should seek out due process and a genuinely unbiased arbitration panel that offers the benefit of the doubt to applicants who have been objected to by local police.