CHICAGO — Four Chicago-area residents said they’re suing Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois State Police Tuesday, arguing the length of time it takes for police to issue an ID allowing them to buy a gun is a violation of their constitutional rights.
Unlike some states, Illinois law requires individuals to register for a Firearm Owner Identification before they can purchase a gun or rent one at a gun range.
Former Marine D’andre Bradley applied for a FOID card from the state in late April or early May, and says over 50 days later he still hasn’t received one.
New FOID cards are taking an average of 70 days to process as of June 30, according to the ISP. In the meantime, expired FOID or concealed carry cards will remain valid until 12 months following the end of Illinois’ disaster proclamation.
Bradley and three others filed a lawsuit with the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Goldwater Institute, arguing the delay violates their Second Amendment rights.
“I understand the fact that we’re in a pandemic but our rights shouldn’t be diminished in an emergency going on with the country right now,” Bradley said. “It’s something that the Constitution guarantees us.”
The Illinois State Police say the system is overwhelmed, as 148 percent more people applied for FOID cards this June compared to the same time last year.
In a statement, a state police spokesperson said Governor Pritzker’s budget will provide the ISP with additional funds to hire at least 32 more analysts and invest in technology upgrades that will speed response times.
“Either the state can get the personnel and the funding to take the FOID process further or they can just do away with it,” Bradley said. “I just want at the end of the day for people to have their rights and be able to exercise it freely.”
That’s not likely to happen in this state at this time, as it would require legislative action in a Democrat-controlled Illinois House and Senate.
“Just because we’re in a pandemic right now doesn’t mean First Amendment rights… Fourth Amendment rights will be done away with,” Bradley said.