OHIO WOMAN SEEKS SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN GUN BAN CASE
November 10, 2011 - For Immediate Release
DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today again rebutted arguments by Illinois officials and their lawyers before an Illinois federal district court in her efforts to have a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois ruled unconstitutional. Ellen Mishaga charges that the law violates her right to “keep and bear arms” and her right to travel; her lawsuit, filed in July 2010, survived an attempt by Illinois to dismiss the case. Ms. Mishaga sued Jonathon E. Monken, Director of the Illinois Department of State Police and the official responsible for issuing Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Cards (FOIDs), which are required to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. On April 30, 2010, and again on June 14, 2010, Mr. Monken denied Ms. Mishaga’s application for a FOID on the grounds that she is not a resident of Illinois. In a motion for summary judgment filed in early October 2011, Ms. Mishaga argues that there are no factual disputes in the case and that the court must rule that the law is unconstitutional.
“The Illinois law is unconstitutional; it deprives Ms. Mishaga of her 2nd and 14th Amendment rights as well as her right to travel,” said William Perry Pendley, of Mountain States Legal Foundation, which represents her.
Illinois requires that individuals obtain a FOID before purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois. Among the requirements for a FOID is that anyone over the age of eighteen provide an Illinois driver’s license number or Illinois Identification Card number. Nonresidents are exempt from most FOID Act restrictions when hunting, target shooting, or if “licensed or registered to possess a firearm in their resident state”; however, a nonresident without a FOID cannot otherwise possess a functional firearm.
The Illinois Department of State Police must either approve or deny a FOID application within thirty days from receipt and must issue a FOID to any person who qualifies. A $10 fee is required to defray administrative costs; a FOID is valid for ten years.
Possessing firearms or ammunition without a FOID or with an expired FOID is a misdemeanor, although a second or subsequent violation is a felony. It is also a felony to possess firearms or ammunition if a person is ineligible for a FOID, even if a person possessed a FOID issued before he became ineligible. The FOID Act contains no self-defense exceptions.
On June 28, 2010, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the right to keep and bear arms [is] among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.” That ruling follows the Court’s affirmance of that right in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.
Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are in suburban Denver, Colorado.
Mishaga v. Monken, No. 10cv3187 (C.D. Illinois)
Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) is a nonprofit,
public interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right
to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and economic freedom. It is an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) entity
incorporated in the State of Colorado. Csontributions
to Mountain States Legal Foundation are tax deductible.
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