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Protecting Illinoisans’ Right to Defend Themselves

Robinson v. Kelly

Case Status

Date Filed

July 21, 2020

Last Step

Completed briefing on motion to dismiss.

Next Step

District court to hear arguments or rule on motion to dismiss.

Case Overview

Illinois has long required residents to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card before they may purchase or even possess a firearm—of any kind—in the state. Under state law, when a resident applies for a FOID card, the Illinois State Police must grant it within 30 days unless it determines that the person is legally disqualified. But Illinois has long failed to process FOID card applications within 30 days—and the situation has only become worse as applications have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic and other events of 2020.

People shouldn’t have to ask for the government’s permission—let alone wait indefinitely—just to be allowed to defend their own lives, families, and homes. If the state of Illinois thinks public safety requires checking people’s backgrounds before allowing them to possess even the most basic firearm in their homes, then it must at least respect its own law and issue cards to qualifying applicants within 30 days.

The Goldwater Institute has sued the Illinois State Police on behalf of four Illinois residents who have applied for FOID cards but have been waiting longer—sometimes much longer—than 30 days to receive them. The lawsuit asks the courts to declare that forcing applicants to wait longer than 30 days to receive their cards violates the Second Amendment rights, and it asks the courts to order the state of Illinois to issue the plaintiffs their cards immediately.

Case Logistics

The plaintiffs in this case are four Illinois residents who applied to the Illinois State Police for a FOID card but did not receive a card within 30 days as state law requires.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on July 21, 2020.

The lawsuit seeks a court order that: (1) declares that the state of Illinois violates residents’ Second Amendment rights when it fails to act on their FOID card applications within 30 days; and (2) orders the state to immediately issue FOID cards to the plaintiffs.

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