People v. Frederick

40 N.E.3d 63 (2015)

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People v. Frederick

Illinois Appellate Court
40 N.E.3d 63 (2015)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In 1991 Darcey Frederick (defendant) pleaded guilty to battery pursuant to a plea bargain. The state of Illinois (plaintiff) had originally charged Frederick with domestic battery because he had assaulted a woman with whom he was in a domestic relationship. In 2011 Frederick sought to obtain a firearm and applied for a Firearm Owners Identification Card (card) under the state’s Firearm Owners Identification Act (the firearm act). The firearm act provided that the Department of State Police (the department) could deny an individual’s application or revoke an individual’s existing card if the individual was banned from possessing a firearm under federal law. However, the firearm act also provided an exception, under which the department had discretion to issue a card, irrespective of the federal law. This exception required that the individual had not been convicted of a felony within 20 years and was unlikely to endanger the public, and that issuing the card would not conflict with public interest. Although the federal Gun Control Act prohibited an individual convicted of a domestic-violence crime from possessing a gun, the department used its discretion to issue Frederick a card. In 2012 the firearm act was amended. The amendments provided that an individual prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm could not be issued a card under any circumstances. In 2013 the department revoked Frederick’s card pursuant to the amendments. Frederick petitioned the circuit court to issue him a card on the ground that he had not been convicted of domestic battery but only of battery. The department argued that the court lacked jurisdiction and that Frederick was convicted of a domestic-violence crime. The circuit court determined that it had jurisdiction and issued Frederick the card on the ground that the amendments were not applicable to Frederick because he had already obtained a card. The department sought a reconsideration, which the circuit court denied. The department appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Schostok, J.)

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