Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.

Illinois residents seeking to buy firearms are running into a bureaucratic, and likely unconstitutional, roadblock: lengthy delays in processing the applications residents are required to file in order to receive a license to purchase a firearm.

The Illinois State Police is in charge of running the application process, with the intent of preventing guns from falling into the hands of criminals. 

The delays have gotten so bad, the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute has filed a federal lawsuit challenging their constitutionality:

Illinois requires its residents to obtain a state license—called a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card—before they may purchase or even possess a firearm of any kind. But for {D’Andre] Bradley and the other plaintiffs—who diligently applied for a card and qualify under the law—owning a gun is a virtual impossibility because the state has failed to issue cards within the 30 days required under the law. In fact, the state is taking as long as 60 days, 90 days, or even longer to issue licenses.

“This is a basic civil rights issue,” Bradley says. “Everyone has a fundamental right to self-defense. If the state is going to require a license to exercise that right, then it should at least respect its own time limit.”

In a time when violence and looting are widespread in the Chicago area, it’s not surprising that there’s been a surge in applications for FOID cards. On June 2 alone, the state received nearly 5,000 applications. Yet as Illinoisans are desperate to defend themselves, Illinois’s rule is a severe restriction on their Second Amendment rights. In fact, it’s one of only two states that requires a license (the other is Massachusetts). Without an FOID card, an Illinoisan can’t have even the simplest rifle or shotgun for home defense.

According to the Institute, the state of Illinois “admits that this problem of long delays in fulfilling applications exists.”  

The suit seeks a court order requiring the state to issue FOID cards immediately. If the state can’t do so, the Institute wants the court to “strike down the FOID scheme.”

Image Credit: By Cory Doctorow (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons