The Chicago Sun Times reported that carjackings across the Windy City were down in February while the month saw shootings spike and police logged 31 homicides, while law-abiding Illinois citizens are having a hard time getting concealed carry licenses.
To remedy that, the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association along with four private citizens filed a lawsuit in federal district court against the Illinois State Police for failing to follow state law on issuing CCLs within the mandated time. Applications have been languishing for months with no action, the lawsuit alleges. The 27-page complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Named as defendants are ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly and Firearms Services Bureau Chief Jarod Ingebrigtsen in their official capacities. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of Wheaton, Illinois and Gregory A. Bedell of Chicago. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
According to the Sun Times, there were 121 carjackings last month in the city, down 45 percent from the 219 reported in February 2020. Last month also saw the police department conduct a “Turn in a Gun” event during which 257 firearms were surrendered along with 48 replica guns and BB guns. Last year, a similar program brought in 625 guns, the newspaper said.
But still the violence continues, and honest citizens are having a hard time keeping the playing field level because they’re unable to secure CCLs. Months ago, SAF threatened to file a lawsuit, and now they’ve done it.
“Illinois was the last state in the country to establish a licensed concealed carry program because we sued them in federal court and won,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb recalled. “The legislature passed a law requiring the ISP to either approve or deny an application within 90 days if the applicant supplies fingerprints, or 120 days if fingerprints are not submitted.”
Gottlieb said SAF and ISRA are frustrated because the ISP is “habitually leaving applicants in legal limbo for months.” It has happened during a period when there has been a surge of CCL applications over the past 12 months, he added.
“The State Police cannot justify these delays,” Gottlieb observed. “As it stands, the ISP is indefinitely denying Illinois residents their fundamental Second Amendment right to carry a concealed sidearm in public for personal protection. We’re saying in this lawsuit that if the State of Illinois conditions the exercise of a fundamental right on the receipt of a license, then the ISP needs to comply with state law and process those applications in a timely manner as required by law. We’re taking them to court in an effort to make that happen.”
Chicago police reported 85 homicides so far this year, up from 70 posted during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, in anti-gun New York City, where it is nearly impossible for average citizens to get a handgun permit, there was a 75 percent jump in shootings during February, according to Fox News. There were 77 shootings last month, compared to 44 reported during February 2020, Fox said.
There were 21 murders last month in The Big Apple, placing it behind Chicago.