The heads of the Illinois State Police and the state’s Firearms Services Bureau are being sued for allegedly denying residents their Second Amendment gun rights.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by the Second Amendment Foundation on behalf of the Illinois State Rifle Association and four individuals.
It names as defendants Brendan F. Kelly, the director of the state police, and Jarod Ingebrigtsen of the Firearms Services agency.
“Illinois was the last state in the country to establish a licensed concealed carry program because we sued them in federal court and won,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.
“The legislature passed a law requiring the ISP to either approve or deny an application within 90 days if the applicant supplies fingerprints, or 120 days if fingerprints are not submitted.”
However, the ISP has been “habitually leaving applicants in legal limbo for months” by not making decisions.
“Compounding matters, there has been a surge of CCL applications over the past 12 months. Our plaintiffs have been waiting for months and have received nothing,” he said.
The lawsuit states plaintiffs Nicholas A. Luce, Joseph R. Stacho III, David M. Rice and Jerry J. Robinson “are concerned about being able to properly exercise their right to armed self-defense in public, especially given recent events and the current spate of car-jackings that have plagued Chicago and the collar counties.”
“The state police cannot justify these delays,” Gottlieb said. “As it stands, the ISP is indefinitely denying Illinois residents their fundamental Second Amendment right to carry a concealed sidearm in public for personal protection. We’re saying in this lawsuit that if the state of Illinois conditions the exercise of a fundamental right on the receipt of a license, then the ISP needs to comply with state law and process those applications in a timely manner as required by law. We’re taking them to court in an effort to make that happen.”
The complaint seeks a judgment that failing to respond to concealed carry applications within the legal time frame is a violation of the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause.
Also, it seeks an order either immediately issuing licenses for the plaintiffs or limiting the state’s restrictions.
“The consequences for delay are neither abstract nor a mere inconvenience; they are a matter of life and death. Sadly, in similar situations, where the government bureaucracy legislatively empowered to act as a Second Amendment gatekeeper has dithered in processing applications, there have been fatal results,” the complaint states.
“If not permanently enjoined by this court, defendants and their agents, representatives, and employees will continue to fail to timely approve CCL applications, which deprive the individual plaintiffs and the members of plaintiffs ISRA and SAF of their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear concealed firearms in public for self-defense.”
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