State Police sued over Concealed Carry License delays


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SPRINGFIELD — Four Illinois residents who have been waiting for months for their state-issued Concealed Carry Licenses are suing officials with the Illinois State Police for allegedly depriving them of their right to bear arms and right to due process.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by the four individuals as well as the Illinois State Rifle Association and the gun-rights group Second Amendment Foundation, claims the state’s concealed carry law is unconstitutional.

Under Illinois law, the Illinois State Police must either approve or deny an application for a CCL card within either 90 days if the application includes fingerprints or within 120 days if the application does not include fingerprints.

The law requires that an individual obtain a Concealed Carry License from the state before he or she is able to carry a firearm concealed.

“But despite this statutory command, the ISP commonly does not approve qualified residents’ CCL applications within 90 or 120 days,” the lawsuit claims. “Instead, the ISP leaves applicants in limbo for months, with residents commonly waiting many additional months to receive a CCL. That has been true for some time, and it has only become worse as applications for CCLs have surged in the past twelve months.”

The lawsuit argues that this delay by ISP in issuing denials or approvals for licenses amounts to an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, as well as the 14th Amendment right to due process.

“Illinois cannot justify completely and indefinitely denying its residents their fundamental Second Amendment right to carry a functional concealed firearm in public to defend their lives and families while they wait for the ISP to approve their CCL applications,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to find that ISP’s failure to issue CCLs to qualified applicants within the required 90 or 120 days violates the Second and 14th Amendments.

It also asks the court to either order the state to immediately issue CCLs or immediately process the CCL applications for the four individuals named in the lawsuit and for members of ISRA and SAF who applied for CCLs more than the required 90 or 120 days ago, who have not had their applications approved or denied.

“It was hoped that litigation could be avoided but these delays simply are unacceptable and there does not seem to be anything to suggest that the delays will end any time soon,” ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson said in a news release.

The lawsuit is against ISP Director Brendan Kelly and ISP Firearms Services Bureau Chief Jarod Ingebrigtsen, in their official capacities.

An ISP spokesperson said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

In December, Kelly called the delays “unacceptable” in a news release. At that time, ISP estimated the average processing time as 145 days for new CCL applications.

ISP has sought to address the backlog and delays by hiring 21 Firearms Eligibility Analysts since March 2020, and adding 19 temporary contracted employees to the Firearms Services Bureau, the agency reported in December.

The latest lawsuit over concealed carry license delays comes after the ISRA and Second Amendment Foundation filed two similar federal lawsuits last year over Firearm Ownership Identification card delays. Those cases are “Bradley et al. v. Kelly et al.” and “Thomas et al v. Kelly et al.”

In the Bradley case, the two gun rights groups argue that individuals who apply for FOID cards face delays that exceed the 30-day requirement under the law.

In the Thomas case, the groups claim that the delays faced by individuals seeking to appeal the denial of their FOID card applications or the revocation of their card are infringing on their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and right to due process under the 14th Amendment.

Those cases are still pending in federal district court in Chicago.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.


  1. Justice Amy Coney Barrett Second Amendment dilemma

    In some 229 years neither law professors, academic scholars, teachers, students or congressional legislators after much debate have not been able to satisfactorily explain or demonstrate the Framers intended purpose of Second Amendment of the Constitution. I had taken up that challenge allowing  Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s dilemma to understand the true intent of the Second Amendment.

    I will relate further by demonstration, the intent of the Framers, my understanding using the associated wording to explain. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Militia, a body of citizens organized for military service.

    If, as some may argue, the Second Amendment’s “militia” meaning is that every person has a right to keep and bear arms, the only way to describe ones right as a private individual is not as a “militia” but as a “person.” (The individual personality of a human being: self)

    The Article of Confederation lists eleven (11) references to“person/s.” The Constitution lists “person” or “persons” 49 times to explicitly describe, clarify and mandate a constitutional legal standing as to a “person” his or her constitutional duty and rights, what he or she can do or not do.

    It’s not enough to just say “person/s” is mentioned in the United States Constitution 49 times, but to see it for yourself (forgo listing), and the realization was for the concern envisioned bt the Framers that every person be secure in these rights explicitly spelled out, referenced and understood how these right were to be applied to that “person.”

    Whereas, in the Second Amendment any reference to “person” is not to be found. Was there a reason? Which leaves the obvious question, why did the Framers use the noun “person/s” as liberally as they did throughout the Constitution 49 times and not apply this understanding to explicitly convey the same legal standard in defining an individual “persons” right to bear arms as a person?

    Justice Amy Coney Barrett dissent in Barr v Kanter (2019) Second Amendment argument acquiesced to 42 references to “person/s, of which 13 characterize either a gun or firearm. Her Second Amendment, “textualism” approach having zero reference to “person/s. Justice Barrett’s  view only recognizes “person/s” in Barr, as well in her many other 7th circuit rulings. It is her refusal to acknowledge, recognize or connect the U.S. Constitution benchmark legislative interpretive precept language of “person/s,” mandated in our Constitution 49 times, to the Second Amendment.
    Leaving Supreme Court Justice Barrett’s judgment in question.

    In the entire U.S. Constitution “militia” is mentioned 5 times. In these references there is no mention of “person” or “persons.” One reference to “people” in the Second Amendment. People, meaning not a person but persons in describing militia.

    Now comes the word “shall” mentioned in the Constitution 100 times. SHALL; ought to, must ..

    And interestingly, the word “shall” appears in the Second Amendment. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and shall not be infringed.”

    “[S]hall not be infringed.” Adding another word “infringed” to clarify any misunderstanding as to the intent of the Second Amendment. Infringe. To encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another;

    The condition “Infringe” has put a stop as to any counter thoughts regarding the Second Amendment, as you shall  not infringe or encroach  on beliefs other to what is evident as to the subject “Militia.”

    Finally, clarifying “..the right of the people to keep and bear arms…
    People. Human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by common interest.

    In closing, I am not against guns, everybody has them. I’m against using the Second Amendment illogically as a crutch. If it makes those feel better so be it. Just what it deserves, use it with a wink.

    William Heino Sr.


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