|| Ellen Mishaga is an Ohio woman who travels frequently to the State of Illinois to visit and to reside in the home of friends; however, under Illinois law she is barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition because she does not possess a Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID). On April 30, 2010, and again on June 14, 2010, Ms. Mishaga’s application for a FOID was denied because, “No Illinois driver’s license number or state identification number [was] provided.”
Illinois requires that individuals obtain a FOID before purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois. Among the requirements for a FOID is that anyone over the age of eighteen provide an Illinois driver’s license number or Illinois Identification Card number. Nonresidents are exempt from most FOID Act restrictions when hunting, target shooting, or if “licensed or registered to possess a firearm in their resident state”; however, a nonresident without a FOID cannot otherwise possess a functional firearm.
The Illinois Department of State Police must either approve or deny a FOID application within thirty days from receipt and must issue a FOID to persons who qualify. A $10 fee is required to defray administrative costs; a FOID is valid for ten years.
Possessing firearms or ammunition without a FOID or with an expired FOID is a misdemeanor, although a second or subsequent violation is a felony. It is also a felony to possess firearms or ammunition if a person is ineligible for a FOID, even if a person possessed a FOID issued before he became ineligible. The FOID Act contains no self-defense exceptions.
On July 27, 2010, Ms. Mishaga filed her complaint. On October 15, 2010, the State of Illinois filed a motion to dismiss, to which Ms. Mishaga responded on October 26, 2010. On November 22, 2010, the district court denied the motion to dismiss. On December 17, 2010, the Illinois defendant filed his answer. On March 1, 2011, Ms. Mishaga filed an amended complaint, adding an additional defendant. On May 20, 2011, defendants file an amended answer. On August 1, 2011, the parties completed discovery.