The increase in mass shootings across the United States has spurred a national conversation about the regulation of legal gun ownership. In what is widely perceived to be an anti-gun state, more than one out of every four citizens in Illinois are legal gun owners. All legal gun owners in Illinois are required to be licensed by the State before they can legally own or purchase firearms. In Illinois, every single legal gun owner in the state has his or her background run every 24 hours to determine if he or she has, among other things, been arrested, been the subject of mental health treatment, or been the subject of an order of protection. Every day. 365 days a year.
Illinois has also passed one of the strictest red flag laws in the country. All Illinois citizens should understand how gun possession laws and red flag laws operate here. If you are facing a red flag order of protection, an unlawful possession of a firearm or illegal use of a firearm charge, the criminal defense attorneys at Glasgow and Olsson can help. Contact our law office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Firearm Owners Must Possess a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card in Illinois
Illinois's laws that address the handling and purchasing of firearms are some of the strictest in the United States. Illinois prosecutors have a reputation for regularly prosecuting for unlawful use or possession of a weapon. Residents of Illinois must possess a state-issued Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card to possess and own a firearm in the state of Illinois. Gun owners must carry their card with them even when they are outside of their home if they have one of their weapons with them.
Only Illinois applicants who meet the following qualifications below as listed on the FOID application may acquire a FOID card:
- The applicant cannot be addicted to narcotics or drugs
- The applicant cannot have a misdemeanor or felony domestic battery conviction on his or her criminal record
- The applicant cannot have been discharged dishonorably from any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces
- The applicant cannot be an immigrant who is in the United States unlawfully
- The applicant cannot be a “mental defective”
- The applicant cannot be a convicted felon
Illinois’ Red Flag Laws
Red flag laws allow family members or the police to petition the court to remove the firearms owned by a potentially dangerous person. In Illinois, a household or family member can file a complaint with a local court alleging that someone has threatened to use a firearm illegally. If the court determines that the owner of the gun is a potential danger to himself or others, it will order the gun owner to appear in court. When the gun owner appears in court, the state will seize his or her guns for six months to a year. If a gun owner threatens to commit serious physical violence, an Illinois court can revoke the gun owner's FOID card.
Illinois Does Allow Some Residents to Carry Concealed Weapons
Illinois does allow for the concealed carrying of handguns. However, the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit are some of the strictest in the country. A little over 6% of U.S. citizens qualify for and possess a concealed carry permit and according to one report, they are statistically considered less likely to commit a crime than a policeman. Illinois applicants must first qualify for a FOID card from the State and then they must complete at least 16 hours of firearm training to receive a concealed carry license. Firearm silencers, the open carry of firearms and automatic weapons are all illegal in Illinois.
If You are Facing a Gun-Related Criminal Charge, We can Help
Has a court ordered you to surrender your weapons under Illinois’ red flag law? Are you facing a charge of unlawful use or possession of a firearm? If so, the skilled gun crime defense attorneys at Glasgow and Olsson can help. Contact our Chicago law firm today to set up your initial consultation.
(image courtesy of Makayla Ostapa)