Illinois Judge Rules FOID Card is Unconstitutional For Guns at Home

A White County Illinois judge has ruled (for the second time) that the requirement for an FOID (Firearms Owner Identification Card) is unconstitutional for guns that are kept in the home. The Case Illinois v Vivian Claudine Brown has been rattling around Illinois courts for several years. Brown was charged with failure to have an FOID card because of her bolt-action rifle – but in the latest ruling, an Illinois judge stated that Illinois law seems to say that people aren’t allowed to have a gun even in their homes…and that is unconstitutional.

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The burden should be on the state to demonstrate that a citizen has committed an act thereby disqualifying them from being in the group of people that already possess a Second Amendment right. Instead, the opposite is true. A citizen in the state of Illinois is not born with a Second Amendment right. Nor does that right inure when a citizen turns 18 or 21 years of age. It is a facade. They only gain that right if they pay a $10 fee, complete the proper application, and submit a photograph…

…if the right to bear arms and self-defense are truly core rights, there should be no burden on the citizenry to enjoy those rights, especially within the confines and privacy of their own homes…

…It simply cannot be the case that a citizen must pay a fee in order to exercise a core individual Second Amendment right within their own home.’ For too long, Illinois has been treating this right like a regulated government privilege and that needs to stop.

Judge T. Scott Webb

Background of the case: Illinois Judge dismissed the original charge

In 2017, Vivian Brown’s estranged husband called the sheriff’s department and reported that she was shooting a gun inside her rural home. When officers arrived, they discovered a rifle in Brown’s bedroom but no evidence of any gun having been fired inside the home. Subsequently, Brown was charged with violating the FOID Card Act in that she possessed a firearm without a valid FOID card.

The circuit court dismissed the charge, finding that 430 ILCS 65/2(a)(1) was unconstitutional as applied to Brown. Specifically, the court found that requiring Brown to complete a form, provide a photo ID, and pay $10 to obtain a FOID card before she could exercise her constitutional right to self-defense in her home violated the second amendment.


Of course, the state appealed the ruling to the State Supreme Court, who remanded the case back to the original circuit court for review, saying that the judge “unnecessarily ruled it unconstitutional” since they didn’t need to do that in the case. The Illinois judge once again ruled that Vivian Brown’s lack of an FOID card makes the whole thing unconstitutional for weapons kept in the home. The case technically only applies to one person, one case. Whether that will change with the final Illinois Supreme Court ruling is anyone’s guess.

A problem also exists in the 4 month backlog of FOID applications. (Cam Edwards at Bearing Arms)


Featured photo: Illinois FOID card

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