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Should Felons Be Permitted to Own Guns?

Appellate judges in the First District believe so, provided they’ve cleaned up their acts and can demonstrate the need. Nevertheless, they say a conflicting conflagration of state and federal laws makes it impossible for them to override denials issued by the Illinois State Police. As such, a Chicago man whose application for a Firearm Owner’s Identification card will have to wait until lawmakers address what judges described as a regulatory merry-go-round that acts as a perpetual ban for felons who want to legally own a gun in Illinois, where FOID rules remain a hot topic in the wake of a February mass shooting in Aurora.

Having done time on drug charges, Alfred Evans petitioned the appellate court after both state cops and a Cook County court rejected his application for the FOID that would afford him protection in his job as a repo man. Despite his having no contact with the judicial system in a decade and providing references about the mending of his ways, the panel said that allowing Evans to carry a gun is impossible given the state’s four-factor assessment and caveats contained in the federal Gun Control Act. In a decision that elaborated the various ways around the statutory limits only to have those avenues blocked by the contradictory codes, judges called on legislators to revisit changes adopted in 2013 FOID reforms that tied their hands in the case.