CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois State Police is being sued for allegedly wrongfully depriving two men of the right to bear arms for self-defense.
A federal lawsuit alleges ISP did not act quickly enough on the applications for firearm owners identification cards and concealed carry permits. The lawsuit also states that for more than five years, ISP took more than $29.5 million from the State Police Firearms Service Fund, the State Police Operations Assistance Fund, and the State Police Service Funday.
The money was to be used to administer the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act, background checks for firearm-related services, and concealed licensing pursuant to the Firearms Concealed Carry Act.
The lawsuit states,
“The effect of this has been a systematic slowdown and sometimes halt of processing of applications and appeals of the FOID Card Act. Applicants and appellants spend days on the phone attempting to reach someone at the ISP with no success. In the unlikely event that a person answers, the applicant/appellant is usually told only that their case is under review.”
The two plaintiffs, forty-year-old Ryan Thomas, and fifty-one-year-old Goran Lazic both claim they’ve been trying to regain their FOID card and concealed carry license for three years.
Thomas originally lost his FOID card and CCL when he moved to Texas in 2016. He attempts to regain his rights since moving back to Illinois in 2017.
Lazic seeks to regain his rights after being charged for domestic battery in 2017. However, the lawsuit claims the chargers were dropped and expunged from his record in 2017.
“Thomas and Lazic wish to obtain a FOID card in order to be able to obtain and possess a firearm for self-defense and defense of family, as well as to obtain/renew their CCLs. Lazic also wishes to go to the firing range for practice, but cannot do so without a FOID card. Thomas is also a hunter and would go with friends and family if he were able, which of course he cannot because he lacks a FOID card,” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit is not only seeking ISP to give them their FOID cards and CCL, but it also states the two men are entitled to monetary damages for violating the second and fourteenth amendments.