One White County resident’s challenge to Illinois state law being heard by the state Supreme Court could alter the circumstances under which a FOID card is required for gun owners.
Vivian Brown was charged with possession of a firearm without requisite Firearm Owner’s ID card following an incident in the spring of 2017. During that incident, it was discovered that Brown was in possession of a single shot, bolt action .22 caliber Remington rifle within her home without a FOID card.
Now Brown is contesting that requiring a FOID card to own a firearm within her own home is a violation of her Second Amendment right to bare arms for the purpose of protection, having already had the White County Second Circuit Court rule in her favor.
According to court documents filed by Brown’s attorney, David Sigale, Brown’s “separated-husband” Scott Brown called in a complaint to the White County Sheriff’s Department alleging that Vivian was firing a gun inside her Carmi residence. Deputies from the department were dispatched to the scene, but found no evidence of a firearm being discharged within the home.
The law enforcement agents did find the firearm, however, reporting it to the White County State’s Attorney, who filed criminal charges against Vivian for owning the weapon without a FOID card.
On Feb. 18, 2018, the White County Circuit Court, with now –retired Associate Judge Mark Stanley presiding, upheld a motion by Brown’s legal counsel that the licensing requirement, photograph requirement and licensing fee requirement stipulated in the FOID Card Act violated her right to self-defense under the Second Amendment rights, as well as Articles 1 and 22 of the U.S. Constitution.
The State filed a motion to reconsider the ruling on March 19, 2018. The court rejected that motion on Oct. 16, 2018.
On Nov. 5, the case was appealed by the State to the Illinois Supreme Court.
The State has argued before the state Supreme Court that requiring a FOID card for gun owners within their homes is a matter of public safety, and that the stipulations within the FOID Card Act help to prevent those that might pose a threat to society from owning firearms.
Brown’s counsel has countered that owning a gun within one’s own home is not a matter of public safety. They note that not only would Brown meet the requirements to receive a FOID card should she apply, but also stated that their challenge is strictly limited to owning a firearm within one’s own home.
Brown is in no way arguing that FOID cards should not be required for carrying a firearm in public or being in a public setting.
It is not known when the Illinois Supreme Court will make a decision on the case.