OHIO WOMAN’S CHALLENGE TO ILLINOIS GUN BAN MUST BE HEARD
October 26, 2010 - For Immediate Release
DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who often travels to Illinois to visit and reside in the home of friends today filed her opposition to an attempt by Illinois to dismiss her federal lawsuit. Ellen Mishaga claims in a complaint filed in Illinois federal district court that a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition while in Illinois violates her right to “keep and bear arms” and her right to travel. Ms. Mishaga named Jonathon E. Monken, Director of the Illinois Department of State Police and the official responsible for issuing Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Cards (FOIDs)—required before lawfully purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition. On April 30, 2010, and again on June 14, 2010, Mr. Monken denied Ms. Mishaga’s application for a FOID. On October 15, 2010, Mr. Monken filed a motion to dismiss arguing that Ms. Mishaga did not need a FOID because she is covered by various exceptions in the law.
“The exemptions identified by Illinois in its motion to dismiss either are inapplicable to Ms. Mishaga or they are unconstitutional,” said William Perry Pendley, president of Mountain States Legal Foundation, which represents Ms. Mishaga. “In either case, it is clear that Ms. Mishaga’s lawsuit may go forward to a final ruling on the constitutionality of the Illinois law.”
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 any person who qualifies. 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 June 28, 2010, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the right to keep and bear arms [is] among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.” That ruling follows the Court’s affirmance of that right in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are in suburban Denver, Colorado.
Mishaga v. Monken, No. 10cv3187 (C.D. Illinois)
Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) is a nonprofit,
public interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right
to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and economic freedom. It is an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) entity
incorporated in the State of Colorado. Csontributions
to Mountain States Legal Foundation are tax deductible.
Releases] [Legal Cases] [Legal