Losing Your Right to Own a Gun After an Illinois Criminal Conviction

A Chicago man has been suffering under the weight of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 lockdowns. He had just started a tech company when the coronavirus pandemic happened, and recently signed a lease on an expensive commercial property downtown. Now, he is unable to raise capital investments as investors are being more cautious due to the turbulent economic times. He doubts he can pay his expenses for the next month.

One of his friends from college hears about his problems and offers him some illegal prescription drugs. He decides to take the drugs for a brief escape from reality, and quickly becomes addicted. Soon he finds himself forging a prescription for oxycontin. He is convicted of a felony, and suffering the consequences beyond serving over a year of jail time. In Illinois, one of those consequences is losing the right to own or possess a firearm.

Losing the Right to Own a Gun in Illinois

In many States, including Illinois, when defendants are convicted of a felony charge, they lose several different civil rights. Convicted felons lose some of their rights temporarily and others permanently. Under Illinois Law, convicted felons lose certain rights regarding the right to own a firearm. Technically, the loss of the right to possess a firearm is not permanent, but Illinois laws make it extremely challenging for convicted felons to own a firearm legally after they have served their sentence.

Firearm Owner’s Identification Card

In Illinois, all gun owners must possess a Firearm Owner's Identification card, or a FOID card. Residents cannot purchase or even own a gun without a valid FOID card. When a court convicts someone of a felony crime, it will revoke the defendants FOID card. Additionally, any person purchasing a firearm in Illinois must declare that he or she has not been convicted of a felony crime. It is possible to receive a FOID card after a felony conviction, but it is not a simple process.

Receiving a FOID Card After a Felony Conviction in Illinois

If you have been convicted of a felony in Illinois, it is possible to obtain a FOID card if you meet certain requirements. You can apply to the director of the State Police, or you can apply to a court where you live and petition the court to overturn the decision to revoke your FOID card. only those applicants who meet the following conditions will qualify for a FOID card:

  • You must not have been convicted of a forcible felony under Illinois Law or in any jurisdiction within 20 years of the application. Or, 20 years must have already passed from when you were last in prison for a forcible felony conviction in Illinois.
  • You must not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public at large, based on your criminal record.
  • Restoring your rights must not be contrary to the public interest
  • Restoring your rights must not be against federal law
  • You must serve the Illinois State’s Attorney with a copy of your application 30 days before the hearing on the matter.

Contact an Experienced Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been convicted of a felony crime, we can help you seek a FOID card. If you are facing criminal charges, experience matters. Contact our experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.

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