SPRINGFIELD, IL (June 3, 2019) -- Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced the filing of an important amicus brief before the Supreme Court of Illinois in People v. Brown, a key Second Amendment case challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois’s Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) laws. The coalition’s amicus brief can be viewed at www.firearmspolicy.org/legal.
At issue was the fact the State of Illinois charged a life-long law abiding woman for keeping a firearm (a .22 single-shot rifle) in her home for self-defense because she did not possess a State-issued FOID card. Under current Illinois law, gun owners must obtain a government-approved FOID card and maintain possession of the card for as long as they possess the firearm, updating the card every 10 years. However, the State acknowledged the woman was not a prohibited person, nor ever misused the weapon in any way.
Accordingly, the coalition brief argued the State’s law is burdensome, has not had any demonstrably positive effect on crime, and has not served any purpose beyond making it more difficult for lawful citizens to exercise their fundamental rights that pre-exist government itself.
“A law-abiding American should not be criminalized for exercising a core constitutional right,” said Attorney Joseph Greenlee, FPC Legal Fellow and co-author of the coalition brief. “What the State of Illinois is trying to punish Ms. Brown for is precisely what the Second Amendment was intended to prevent. So we’re pleased to support Ms. Brown and all gun owners in Illinois through this brief.”
FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs agreed.
“This case is important for Illinoisans -- and indeed, all people -- because it could invalidate the need to acquire government permission to merely keep a gun on one’s own property, a right at the very core of the Second Amendment,” Combs said.
FPC and FPF were joined in the amicus brief by Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Millennial Policy Center, Independence Institute, Professor Carlisle Moody of the College of William and Mary, State’s Attorneys Stewart J. Umholtz & Brandon J. Zanotti, as well as Second Amendment Law Professors Robert Cottrol, Nicholas Johnson, Nelson Lund, Joseph Olson, Glenn Reynolds, and Gregory Wallace.
The brief was co-authored by Gregory A. Bedell of Knabe, Kroning & Bedell, George A. Mocsary of Southern Illinois University School of Law, Joseph Greenlee of FPC and the Millennial Policy Center, and David B. Kopel of the Independence Institute.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.