The case of a man who had his guns taken suddenly, forcefully, and irrevocably when the faulty FOID system erroneously showed he had a prior battery conviction was enough to get Guns Save Life and then the NRA involved in a lawsuit seeking an immediate injunction against the entire FOID Act.
Launched alongside the FPC and SAF's lawsuit we announced yesterday and knowing that it may be quite some time before the Illinois Supreme Court moves on the appeal for the People v. Brown case, these gun rights groups are attempting to stop the FOID machine that has been flouting the US Constitution in broad daylight for decades, occasionally sending innocent gun owners to prison in the name of keeping Illinois safe. Despite this 'safeguard', Illinois has consistently been hovering into and out of the top ten most deadly states since the FOID's inception. In recent years, it has been steadily climbing in those rankings.
The results of the FOID system's implementation have been foreboding and dire. This 'second chance at gun safety', as it has sometimes been called, has been very effective at one thing — to keep firearms out of the hands of a random subset of lawful citizens who would otherwise be capable of protecting themselves and others wishing to do them harm.
In the reported details of the aforementioned case above, the man in question apparently wasn't given records of his supposed prior conviction for the battery before his guns were taken from him. Could the strong arm of the law be stacking the deck against people they simply don't like?
In an unrelated 2013 case, a man with a nearly 50-year-old felony conviction whose record was later wiped clean when he received a personal pardon from the Governor was refused a FOID card even though in the eyes of the courts, he was not now nor had he ever been a felon and no records of either his arrest or his conviction existed. Yet, because he was truthful in filling out the FOID application, he was wrongfully denied his ability to protect himself and his family.
The man, Donn Malwick, even had multiple letters of character testimony from notable leaders, including Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson who has known him for more than a quarter of a century, stating that Malwick's "integrity and character are above reproach". Another such letter was penned by J. William Roberts, former U.S. attorney serving as chief counsel to Governor Jim Edgar in 1999.
Malwich appealed to the Illinois State Police in September of that year, and by July of the following year when a news story was written about him he had still received no response. When the ISP was asked by reporters why there had been no word, their official spokesperson replied that no statute limits the amount of time they have to reply to such appeals.
Asked about the case, Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, mirrored Gun Rights Watch's sentiments when he said,
“Law-abiding citizens should not be required to obtain government approval before exercising a constitutionally protected right.”