Teen sues over denial of FOID card application; Maag cites Biden's 'double-barreled shotgun' quote

By Bethany Krajelis | Apr 4, 2013

A Madison County teen on Monday filed a federal lawsuit that cites a quote from Vice President Joe Biden in an attempt to get a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.

Tempest Horsley brought her complaint against Jessica Trame, in her official capacity as chief of the Illinois State Police’s Firearms Services Bureau, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

The suit seeks a court order directing Trame to accept Horsley’s FOID card application and to enjoin her from denying other applications on the basis that they are not signed by a parent or legal guardian, as well as an award of attorney fees and costs.

According to her suit, Horsley mailed her application for a FOID card on March 14, along with a $10 check, and Trame returned the application late last month, when she indicated it was incomplete because it didn’t include a signature from a parent or guardian.

Horsley was “a few months over 18 years of age” when she submitted her application. The Illinois FOID Card Act requires card applicants to be 21 years old or provide written consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Her parents would not sign the application, the suit states, adding that Horsley “has no legal guardian, as she is in excess of 18 years of age, and thus, is an adult, having reached the age of majority.”

Horsley wants “a firearm for self-defense inside of her home.”

“[I]n February 2013, Vice President Joe Biden suggested that '[i]f you want to protect yourself, get a double-barreled shotgun,'" the suit states. “[P]ursuant to the suggestion of Vice President Joe Biden, Plaintiff Horsley sought to acquire, and became aware of a double barrel shotgun for sale, in a price that she could reasonably afford.”

But given Illinois' law requiring those under the age of 21 to provide written consent from a parent or guardian, Horsley claims she “has no choice but to either go unarmed and be defenseless inside of her home, or to violate the law, resulting in irreparable harm.”

The suit asserts that Trame’s denial of Horsley’s FOID card application violates the “constitutional right to possess a firearm for self-defense, pursuant to the Second and Fourteenth Amendments,” and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

As a result of these alleged constitutional violations, Horsley claims she “is suffering irreparable harm, as she cannot lawfully purchase or otherwise acquire and lawfully possess a double barrel shotgun, as suggested by Vice President Joe Biden, or any other firearm for self-defense.”

Wood River attorney Thomas Maag filed the suit on Horsley’s behalf.

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