U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– The Illinois Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) requirement came in with the enormous gun control push done by Democrats in 1968, during the Johnson administration.
In 2017, an Illinois state judge, T. Scott Webb, of White County, found the FOID unconstitutional. The case made it to the Illinois Supreme Court, where it was sent back to the District Court for clarification.
In 2021, it was found to be unconstitutional again and has again made its way back to the Illinois Supreme court. From the decision, Case 17-CM-60, 26 April 2021:
“A citizen in the State of Illinois is not born with a Second Amendment right. Nor does that right insure when a citizen turns 18 or 21 years of age. It is a façade. They only gain that right if they pay a $10 fee, complete the proper application, and submit a photograph. If the right to bear arms and self-defense are truly core rights, there should be no burden on the citizenry to enjoy those rights, especially within the confines and privacy of their own homes. Accordingly, if a person does something themselves from being able to exercise being able to exercise that right, like being convicted of a felony or demonstrating mental illness, then and only then may the right be stripped from them.”
What the Illinois Supreme Court will decide is uncertain. It appears they do not want this case. From daily-journal.com:
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked for a second time to decide whether a state law requiring gun owners to have a firearm permit is unconstitutional – a question the court previously declined to answer.
The case involves a White County resident, Vivian Claudine Brown, who was charged in March 2017 with possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification, or FOID card.
The charge was filed after her husband had called the White County Sheriff’s Office to report that she had fired a gun in their home. When officers arrived, they found a rifle beside her bed but no evidence that she had fired it.
Nonetheless, she was charged with the crime. But a circuit judge in White County threw out the charge, saying the Illinois law requiring potential gun owners to fill out a form, provide a picture ID, undergo a background check and pay a $10 fee to obtain a FOID card was unconstitutional, at least as it applied to Brown. The judge said it imposed a burden on Brown’s Second Amendment right to keep a firearm in her own home for self-defense.
The FOID system was recently reformed to make it easier to use and more intrusive. As of January of 2024, all private sales will be required to go through an FFL or use the FOID and provide a record to an FFL.
The signing of HB 562 seems to have seriously reduced the number of NICS checks done in Illinois, but it does nothing about the constitutionality of the FOID system. There is no question that the ability to have a firearm in the home is in the core of Second Amendment rights.
The argument is, this sort of infringement is forbidden by the Second Amendment.
The decision of the Illinois Supreme Court should be known in a few months.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.