Wood River attorney Thomas Maag seeks to represent a class of people who paid $1 more than state statute allows when they applied for $10 firearm owner identification cards (FOID).
Plaintiff Gary Patrick Sterr, also of Wood River, says he was charged the extra buck on Oct. 6, as a convenience fee through the Illinois E-pay program for processing applications online.
Maag filed the proposed class action in Madison County Circuit Court on Oct. 15.
He names Jessica Trame in her capacity as Firearms Services Bureau chief and Michael Frerichs (spelled Brerichs in the case title) as Treasurer of Illinois.
Maag argues that statute 430 ILCS 65/5 expressly states that the FOID fee is $10.
By charging an additional $1, Trame is unilaterally imposing without statutory authority a 10 percent surcharge on FOID cards, he claims.
He further claims it is impossible to get a FOID card without paying the extra fee on top of the $10 mandatory cost (except for certain members of the military who are exempt all together) because the Firearms Services Bureau some time early this year stopped accepting paper applications that allowed people to mail $10 checks or money orders.
"Defendants have charged a minimum of ten thousand people, and possibly substantially more, well into the hundreds of thousands or millions of class members," Maag wrote.
In 2011, the state received 321,000 FOID applications, he wrote.
He notes that in order to lawfully possess a firearm in Illinois, "it is generally required to have in a person's possession a currently valid" FOID card.
Maag seeks to represent a class that includes anyone who applied for a FOID card any time in 2015 and who paid a fee in excess of $10.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1337.