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Fifth District Court of Appeals Overrules Judge’s Anti-Gun Rhetoric

The Fifth District Appeals Court has ruled a Madison County judge to consider whether it’s constitutional to suspend gun permits of people who are the subjects of temporary or emergency orders of protection.

The Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon issued its order Friday in a Madison County case involving a man whose Firearm Owner Identification Card and concealed-carry permit were suspended because he was the subject of a temporary order of protection.

A protective order was sought in May 2015 by the father-in-law of the gun owner, David Koshinski, after the two men had an argument over the phone. The father-in-law was granted an emergency protective order, without Koshinski being allowed to present arguments or evidence to the judge.

Illinois State Police suspended Koshinski’s gun permits after the emergency order was issued against him.

In Illinois, an emergency order of protection lasts for 14-21 days. An emergency order of protection can become a plenary order of protection — one that’s in effect up to two years, only if the respondent is notified of the case and given an opportunity to present evidence.

A couple of weeks after the emergency order was issued against Koshinski, he and his father-in-law agreed to change the protective order to a “mutual stay-away” order, under which they would stay away from each other, and the court approved it. About three months later, Associate Judge Clarence Harrison dropped the stay-away order and noted in his order that there was no evidence to support the suspension of Koshinski’s gun permits.

Shortly after that, State Police reinstated Koshinski’s gun permits. But Koshinski sued ISP, seeking an injunction that would prohibit the suspension of his licenses if he were to again be the subject of an ex parte order of protection. Koshinski also asked that the state’s firearm-licensing statutes be declared unconstitutional.

State Police argued that Koshinski’s lawsuit should be dismissed because it became a moot issue after his licenses were reinstated. A Madison County judge agreed with ISP and dismissed Koshinski’s suit. Koshinski appealed the dismissal.

The appeals court, in its ruling, said the case is not moot because it “will broadly determine the rights of firearm licensees who are subject to ex parte orders of protection and the firearm suspension statutes.” The court added that the issue “is of sufficient breadth and has a significant effect on the public as a whole.”

The appeals court added:

“Providing a definitive decision as to the statutory limits of a state’s authority to limit a citizen’s firearm ownership as a result of a trial court entering an ex parte order of protection, a common occurrence, will provide guidance to judges and prosecutors and firearm owners, in addition to public officers, including the defendant, faced with questions regarding the statutes’ validity.”

What do you think? Do you think the Fifth Appellate Court is making a good decision here? Let us know in the comments below.

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