If the Illinois State Police only refused FOID cards for convicted violent felons, few would object. At least for those who aren’t reformed. But with the ISP running scared after repeated screw-ups issuing FOID cards and approving firearm sales to bad people (can you spell the Aurora murder spree?), the folks at the ISP’s Firearm Services Bureau are revoking FOIDs left and right.
This government agency, controlled by a rabidly gun-hating Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is in many ways making up the rules as they go along. Sometimes without even running the proposed rulemaking past the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
For example: a whole lot of people have waded through the deep and messy morass of FOID appeals to regain their God-given right to keep and bear arms again (without moving out of this sad state) and are now getting letters once more revoking their FOID cards. Why? “Public safety.”
Examples you ask? How about the gentleman from Central Illinois who found himself in a spat with the (soon to be) ex-wife. As he packed his belongings to leave a confrontation, she saw him packing his carry piece. She called the cops, claiming he threatened her with it. “He said, she said,” as it was reported to me.
The man was arrested on the thinnest of claims. One thing led to another and the State’s Attorney declined to prosecute, doubting the validity of the accusations.
Meanwhile, the man lost his security-clearance job (that involved gun handling). It took him two long years and a lot of money out-of-pocket to regain his FOID and CCL and to begin to put his life back together.
Now, a couple of years later, he gets another letter from ISP unilaterally revoking his FOID and carry license again because they were “revisiting” the “Clear and present danger” charge levelled against him from the original issue.
Imagine his frustration. On top of that, if he files for a court action, the court will ask if he’s exhausted the ISP’s appeals process, which can take years, before the court will consider it absent exigent circumstances. How is this remotely fair, equitable or just? It’s not.
Want another example? How about a Decatur Police Officer, shot in the line of duty in January. She’s recovering, at home, when she gets a letter from the Illinois State Police revoking her FOID card this summer after the ISP implemented some “emergency rulemaking” that expanded their ability to revoke FOID cards (and strip an American of their 2A rights) without due process.
The reason for the officer’s revocation? She sought treatment for an eating disorder in college years ago.
Or the guy also in Decatur who was suffering from chest pains. He went to the ER and when told a heart attack could be fatal, he said “I don’t care.” Guess who got a letter a couple of days later as a suicide risk?
Plenty of other people are now getting letters “revisiting” decisions previously made to restore the firearm rights of those wrongfully accused or those with issues long settled. It’s just another reason the FOID Act needs to get chucked into the dust bin of history alongside laws and court decisions that allowed “separate but equal”, poll taxes, slavery and prohibition.