For the second time, the Second Amendment Foundation is suing a public housing authority in the state of Illinois, challenging a prohibition on firearms in such housing.
The first time SAF did this was about five years ago in a case called Winbigler v. Warren County Housing Authority. This time around, SAF is joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association on behalf of a woman living in a unit operated by the East St. Louis Housing Authority (ESLHA). It’s not the first time SAF and ISRA have teamed up on a case.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb on Thursday sort of shook his head and gave a little eye roll because his organization has been kept busy with legal actions in the Prairie State. By no small coincidence, SAF and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be hosting the 33rd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago Sept. 21-23. That event will be held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, the same location that past conferences have been held over the past seven years.
There was McDonald v. City of Chicago, the landmark Supreme Court case that nullified the city’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. Then there was Ezell v. City of Chicago over the city’s hastily-drafted handgun ordinance. And there was Moore v. Madigan, which forced the state to adopt a concealed carry statute, along with a separate lawsuit by the National Rifle Association. SAF sued the state Department of Children and Family Services on behalf of two foster parents and those who would like to be foster parents, because of an IDCFS policy that substantially prohibited them from possessing firearms for self-defense. And the list goes on.
In this new case, the woman at the center of the lawsuit, identified as “N. Doe” to protect her identity and location from a violent domestic abuser, has allegedly been threatened with losing her lease because of the no-guns rule. According to the lawsuit, she was sexually assaulted on one occasion – her children had to threaten the attacker – and on two other occasions, she had to call police because of shootings in nearby residences.
“It is simply unacceptable for citizens living in public housing to be denied their basic right to have a firearm for personal protection, and in this case, it is unconscionable,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement.
Illinois was the last state to adopt a concealed carry statute. It was a stubborn holdout in an effort to prevent its citizens from joining the rest of the country, where the right to keep and bear arms is essentially recognized, though in such states as New Jersey and Maryland, it’s nearly impossible to exercise.
But Illinois seems to be in the Twilight Zone. It’s either that or the state has some obsession with keeping attorneys gainfully employed.