Saturday, May 01, 2021

Illinois Judge Finds FOID Unconstitutional under Second Amendment


Image from Court Document, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten

Judge T. Scott Webb, of White County, Illinois, Found the requirement to obtain an Firearm Owner IDentification card (FOID) before owning a firearm in Illinois, to be unconstitutional. 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.”

The theory of Constitutional rights is they belong to people by the existence of the person. They are not granted by the state. They are to be protected by the state. In the case of Illinois, the process is reversed. 

Judge Webb found, in the state of Illinois, the right to own arms and defend oneself in one's own home was not assumed by the existence of the person. Instead, the state required the person to jump through hoops and apply to the state to receive permission to exercise their rights.  This is precisely the opposite of Constitutional principles. 

The rights are presumed to be there. They may only be taken away in certain strictly defined circumstances. In Illinois, they are taken away from everyone, and individuals may then petition the government to get their rights back. 

The FOID case of Vivian Claudine Brown has been moving through the courts for over four years. The case started in March of 2017. It was taken to the Illinois Supreme Court, then remanded back to the circuit court in White County, Illinois a year ago, in April of 2020. 

The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation deserve considerable credit for pursuing this case. 

White County is in far southern Illinois almost as far from Chicago as one can be, and still be in Illinois.  The county has one border with Indiana. The south boundary of the county is only a few miles from Kentucky. 

Illinois is an outlier among the states. The FOID requirement is of recent vintage, created in 1968, the same year the infamous Gun Control Act of 1968 was pushed through a reluctant Congress by President Lyndon Johnson, and signed into law on October 22, three months before Johnson was forced from office, less than two weeks before the Democrats lost the Presidency on 5 November. 

The United States has suffered under infringement after infringement of Second Amendment rights for more than 50 years. In the 1970's Second Amendment supporters started seriously organizing and fighting back. 

The FOID court findings reflect the recent roll backs of infringements on the Second Amendment. Illinois has lost two major federal cases on Second Amendment rights. The Illinois Supreme Court has paid attention.

It may be months or years before this case is resolved. The case is likely to be appealed again. It is likely to go to the Illinois Supreme Court again. The entire FOID system should simply be eliminated. There is no evidence it accomplishes any significant good. Its only purpose seems to be to create criminals.

While the courts have ruled some fees, in limited circumstances, may be allowed in order to exercise fundamental Constitutional rights in certain locations at certain times, Judge Webb finds that is not the case for fundamental Constitutional rights exercised in the privacy of ones own home, for the purpose of self-defense.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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ScienceABC123 said...

My question is this; how long was the law on the books before it was declared un-Constitutional?

Politicians aren't stupid. They know it will likely take years before an un-Constitutional law they pass will be declared un-Constitutional. In the mean time, the people get used to having their rights trampled.

Anonymous said...

The issue goes much deeper than exercising rights in the home. By the constitutional authority of eminent domain American Citizens can travel across this nation from border to border crossing state lines and all of their constitutionally guaranteed rights travel with them. The need for self defense is never by appointment . No one knows when they may need to use their right of self defense and most of the time it is not just in the home. Your rights belong to the individual person not where that person happens to be. or where the state decides you might need that right. God gave man the right of self-defense and the constitution guarantees it. Where that self is. There is no limitation written in the second amendment as to the righ only existing in the home.