BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against the Warren County, Illinois Housing Authority, seeking an injunction against the WCHA’s ban on personally-owned firearms by residents of government-subsidized housing.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ronald G. Winbigler, a resident of Costello Terrace in Monmouth. Mr. Winbigler is a physically disabled former police officer who wants to have a handgun in his residence for personal protection. The lawsuit seeks equitable, declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the WCHA ban. It was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division.
“Ron Winbigler faces the same dilemma so many other residents of government-subsidized public housing face,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “He wants a firearm for self-defense, but he risks losing a place to live because of bureaucratic political correctness. As a police officer, he consistently trained and repeatedly qualified in the safe use and handling of firearms, and because of his experience, he understands the threat of crime.”
“People do not lose their Second Amendment rights just because they are of limited means,” added attorney David Sigale, who represents SAF and Winbigler in this action. “Nobody wishes to be in need of financial assistance, but it is an indignity to make the waiver of constitutional rights a condition of government-subsidized housing. We are confident the Courts will hold that those residents have the same right to defend their families and themselves as everyone else.”
“It is astonishing that in Illinois of all places, government entities would continue to interfere with the Second Amendment rights of citizens, after our Supreme Court victory in the McDonald case almost two years ago,” Gottlieb said. “That case nullified Chicago’s handgun ban and extended Second Amendment protections against infringement by state and local governments and their agencies. Mr. Winbigler and people like him deserve the full protection of the Constitution, especially if they live in subsidized public housing.”