The Madison County Record Oct. 27, 2015, 2:14pm


“Uh uh. I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?”

Dirty Harry, he's not. He might think he's tough and resourceful like the iconic, rule-breaking movie detective played with such panache by film legend Clint Eastwood, but he's no Dirty Harry.

We're talking about Wood River attorney Thomas Maag, the small-time “hired gun” who uses the court system to avenge nickel-and-dime overcharges at supermarket check-cashing counters and to challenge legitimate late fees from Redbox.

This forty-something Maag fires suits instead of shots. They're small time, but he's got an extended clip and he fires in rapid succession, on the off chance that he might hit something if he just keeps pulling the trigger.

His latest long shot is a proposed class action in Madison County Circuit Court on behalf of Illinoisans allegedly overcharged a dollar when applying for a $10 firearm owner identification card (FOID).

The extra dollar covers the cost of processing applications online through the Illinois E-pay program.

Noting that statute 430 ILCS 65/5 expressly states that the FOID fee is $10, Maag argues that Firearms Services Bureau Chief Jessica Trame, by charging an extra dollar for online processing, is unilaterally imposing without statutory authority a 10 percent surcharge on FOID cards.

Something tells us that Trame is not shaking in her boots.

Unlike Dirty Harry, Dinky Thomas intimidates no one. He's not the tough guy giving the .44 Magnum speech. He's the unlucky punk who can't remember how many bullets were fired. When Thomas Maag threatens to sue someone, his intended targets just laugh, or they say, “Go ahead. Make my day!”

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