(The Center Square) – The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois State Police (ISP) for failure to process firearms permit renewal applications within the lawful 30 days, which they call a Second Amendment violation.
Holders of expired Illinois Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) cards or Concealed Carry Licenses recently received another 150-day extension because the ISP is still trying to overcome an extensive application backlog.
“The FOID card enables you to exercise a fundamental right which is your Second Amendment right, and a right delayed is a right denied,” ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said. “Some of these people have been waiting 18 months, a year, two years, 10 months.”
Pearson said the extension is wishful thinking and notes the law cannot be changed simply because it is inconvenient.
ISP officials have said the agency lacks funds because millions in application fees have been swept into other funds to pay for other state spending. However, Pearson pointed out their funds were swept because they failed to present the state with a plan of action.
“If you don’t use the money you were budgeted, and you don’t supply a plan for that money, the governor can take it back and put it in the General Fund,” Pearson said.
He also said that the money was there, the state police just have to have the will to do it. Through the lawsuit, ISRA hopes to force the state police into action.
“You can order a credit card from a credit card company and they send it in the mail to you the next day, and they do a financial background check on you, the state police do background checks every day, there’s no reason that shouldn’t happen,” Pearson said.
Pearson argues not only is this a violation of Americans’ Second Amendment rights, but a failure to fulfill a basic business transaction.
“This isn’t just general tax money, this is fees that people paid for a service that they did not get,” Pearson said.