Man Claims Violation Of Rights After Gun Permit Was Denied

CHICAGO (STMW) — A man filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming that his constitutional right to bear arms was violated when he was denied a Chicago firearm permit.

Shawn Gowder claims that he lives in a high crime area of Chicago and wished to keep a handgun in his home for self-defense, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. He already holds a state firearm owner’s identification card.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s David Roe reports

The suit claims that he filed Nov. 1, 2010 for a city firearm permit but was denied by the city’s Department of Administrative Hearings because he had a 1995 misdemeanor conviction for possessing a firearm on a public street. Gowder has never been convicted of a felony, according to the suit.

Gowder contested the decision claiming that denying a permit based solely on a prior misdemeanor conviction violated his fundamental right to keep and bear arms under the second and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, according to the suit.

The suit claims that Gowder received a decision in the mail affirming the earlier denial.

The three-count suit seeks a reversal of the decision and an order to the Chicago Police to issue Gowder a firearm permit. The suit claims judicial review, declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

The suit also names the city of Chicago, Scott Bruner, director of the city’s Department of Administrative Hearings, the Chicago Police and its superintendent Jody Weis.

The suit seeks attorney’s fees, court costs, and other relief.

A spokesperson for the city’s legal department was not immediately available for comment.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • Sean Horton

    Way to go Shawn !

  • west town dude

    wish you well

  • Chicago Democrat

    As the courts have said that there is no right to own whatever weapon you wish, he should go out and buy a shotgun or rife. Then he wouldnt need a permit. If he wants to avail himself of his second ammendment rights, prehaps he should join a well regulated militia, of which the national guard is always looking for new recruits and thjen he could own a gun.

    • RRB211

      If you would do a bit of checking, you would find that the “militia” was made up of private citizens. The National Guard didn’t exist until the early 20th century. When the 2nd Amendment was written, the term “regulated” meant “trained” or “equipped” in the language of the period. Do some reading.

      • DA

        Do some reading? … are you kidding? That would require CD to think as well as run the risk of discovering the facts about a “well regulated militia.” “Chicago Democrats” need the obvious explained to them.

    • Gray Coyote


      Chicago requires a firearm permit to possess a rifle/shotgun now.

    • jaybuck

      I must have been sleeping when the McDonald v Chicago ruling was handed down
      but I thought a handgun inside your home for the self defense of your family yourself & property. When Otis McDonald was denied a permit he sued & won so
      “Chicago Democrat” it appears Mr. Gowder’s 2nd amendment rights WERE denied.
      Evidently you don’t own a rifle or shotgun because registration IS required as well.

    • Mr. Justice

      Dump ass logic. Do some research and learn what the 2nd Amendment truly means you moron.

  • repo bob

    im applying for mine tmro and if i get denied i will do the same as shawn and i will go out and buy my handgun anyway cuz its my damn right as a tax paying non felon american citizen

  • Mark

    Fundmental human rights protected by the Bill of Rights are not subject to the whims of law enforcement.

    He is not a prohibited person, so this case is pretty cut and dry. It may not win in Chicago’s corrupt courts – staffed by judged appointed and campaign-financed by the very people who enacted these insane, and useless firearms laws. But when taken to a higher court it will win.

    The courts across this country have made it abundantly clear that strict scrutiny must be used when regulating fundamental rights. A denial based on a misdemeanor does not pass strict scrutiny.

    I look forward to seeing this injustice righted.

  • otto2

    Of course Mao Daley has his armed entourage of coat holders-so bleep us. Maybe if he had to worry about defending himself, he’d think differently. As a retired police officer, I can truthfully say “When seconds count the Police are only minutes away”.

  • cannoneer2

    I agree wholeheartedly, chicago democrat. He should buy an

    • MadMann135

      Chicago assault weapons ban, bans the ownership of an AR-15 in Chicago.

  • Jack

    You have all lost the plot. I expect to hear another massacre by a right wing looney like that idiot in AZ happen very soon somewhere in Chicago.

    • rpb

      Check it out Jack he is one of yours a Left Wing Loony. As for it happening in Chicago where have you been it goes on every night in Chicago, for the most part it’s bangers on bangers with a few citizens thrown in the cross-fire.

    • Tracy E Fulford

      Jack. there is a massacre every day in Chicago, look on the west and south side. More ppl are shot and killed in Chicago and DC, on a daily bases. The AZ shooting is a fool who shouldnt have had a weapon in the first place, getting a lucky shoot. But what about the many children in Chicago and DC shot in thier homes, standing in the back yard.. AZ was one day, its everyday in Chicago and DC. By your statement, I know your not of color nor do you live in one of those parts of Chicago that well protected. (Northside)

  • Tracy E Fulford

    I really need you all to wake up in Chicago, Wis the state above you got tried of the crime and voted out the aint gun groups. Until you do the same you will keep dealing with this BS. Or you can do as many form residents of Ill, move out the state.

    • jaybuck

      Right – on Tracy! It has to happen here too but unfortunately anti-gun Quinn the GOV. in charge won only three counties in Hellinois so you can say Chicago elected him. How do you think the rest of the state feels? Take Chicago clear out of this state! Until the democratic Chicago politicians get ousted then the city voters deserve what they continue to get. Myself I am fed up with the Chicago BS & I will do all I can to put a stop to this cesspool of corruption & I will begin by voting against the illegal white house candidate running for Chicago mayor!!!

    • hipshotpercusion

      Tracy, I did just exactly that last May. i moved to FL and now carry every where I go.

      I would advise anybody to get the Hell out of IL. We don’t have a State Income Tax here and it doesn’t snow. I Just went for a Motorcycle ride.

  • mikew

    Of course Chicago Democrat does not realize that you currently need s Chicago Firearms Permit to own ANY firearm, be it handgun or long gun.

    And, if he knew Shawn Gowder, he wouldn’t have said anything after that opening line.

  • rpb

    I guess the real question is, does he have a FOID Card, and is Chicago saving that the FOID is not stringent enough and therefore creating a second class of citizenship in the state of Illinois for people unfortunate to live in Chicago.

  • DonP.

    Well, cheer up folks.

    Wisconsin will be passing a “Shall Issue” concealed carry law before summer, making Illinois the only state with no allowance for the law abiding to protect themselves.

    At some point you’d think these hypocrites would be embarrassed, but no they keep muddling along, ignoring the SCOTUS McDonald decision and the constitution. The law is for suckers I guess.

    • MadMann135

      It is mostly Richard Daley and his corrupt band of politicians. For concealed carry all cities have to have acceptable firearm laws. Chicago is very unacceptable.
      Chicago is in short going to face an uphill battle, cost taxpayers at worst millions and in the eventual end fail because the taxpayers won’t tolerate it.

  • Tory II

    I would bet the Illinois State Rifle Association is helping Shawn Gowder pay for his lawsuit.

    You can donate here:

    and you may also be able to buy raffle tickets there too.

    If you’re not a member, you should be, so your dues can help pay for the lawsuits.

  • Tory II

    Two minute video How To Create Your Own Gun Free Zone:

    If you like it then post it at other locations.

  • DanWFan

    Ridiculous. The man is being denied his rights because he was trying to practice them during the illegal and unconstitutional ban on these very same rights. I m glad he’s suing – it will bring further attention to this repressive law that has done nothing except giving criminals assurance that their victim’s homes are most likely unprotected. Side note – In Daley’s “gun free” Chicago there were 29 gun assaults weekend before the ban was lifted. Oh, and it also steadily held title of murder capital during the Daley’s “gun free” time. Sure looks like gang-bangers were paying attention to the law… I applied for my CFP this week and I was pleasantly surprised by number of people, including women applying for it. Overheard a lady talking about how she needs it coz her home was broken into while she was in church. And in 2 weeks I am showing a friend how to use a gun out at the range. Her home was already broken in twice and she’s naturally afraid for her safety. Times are changing and people are becoming more aware of the fact that gun control has been an epic failure.

  • Desert joe

    I got mine in 7 days 100 for the training including range and 100 for the permit 10 bucks for the foid total 210 in 8 days whats all the complaining bout if you want a legal gun in your house just get it done

  • Tory II

    The 2nd amendment prohibits the govt from regulating guns. That is the only purpose of the amendment. If you disagree it’s because you’ve been brainwashed by the antigun newsmedia and politicians.

    The amendment was included into the Bill of Rights because of nazis like Daley.

    No person should ever have to spend money to exercise a Constitutional right (a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights).

    Everyone: if you see Mayor Daley living in Michigan or Florida (where everyone can have loaded guns in public) then announce that on the internet. Let’s keep the public informed on his unguarded location. Let’s make Daley live the way he’s made everyone else live – without the benefit of guns, without his 24/7 armed bodyguards.

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