As the city of Chicago has long been plagued by gun violence, the state of Illinois is known for some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Any person in the state of Illinois who wants to legally possess firearms or ammunition must apply for a Firearm Owners Identification Card with the Illinois State Police. Filling out a simple form online is the first step to obtaining a FOID card, but the police conduct a lengthy background check to determine whether or not they will issue a FOID card to an applicant. By statute, this process is only supposed to last 30 days, but often it takes 60 days or longer for the state police to issue a FOID card.
Who May Receive a FOID Card?
Under 430 ILCS 65/41, anyone over the age of 21 is eligible for a FOID card. Those under the age of 21 wishing to obtain a FOID card through the Illinois State Police may do so with the written consent of a parent or guardian who is also eligible for a FOID card, so long as the minor has not been convicted of any misdemeanor more serious than a traffic violation. FOID cards remain valid for 10 years after being issued by the state police. Any Illinois resident in possession of firearms without a valid FOID card may be arrested and subject to misdemeanor or felony charges. However, non-residents who enter the state of Illinois with firearms or ammunition are not required to obtain a FOID card.
Who May Be Denied a FOID Card?
While the qualifications for obtaining a FOID card sound relatively simple, there are several circumstances under which an application can be denied, which is the reason why it can take the state police so long to investigate whether or not someone meets the qualifications for eligibility. Common issues that can cause a FOID card application to be rejected include:
· A prior felony conviction
· An addiction to narcotics that can independently verified
· A stay within a mental institution within the past five years before applying for a FOID card
· An order of protection is in force against the applicant
· A prior misdemeanor conviction for domestic battery
This list is by no means exhaustive, so consulting with an attorney is important to determine if you have been wrongfully denied a FOID card. In many circumstances, a FOID card can also be revoked. In that case, the FOID card and any firearms in the possession of the FOID card holder must be turned over to a local law enforcement agency immediately. However, as long the card holder is not expressly barred by the statute from obtaining a FOID card, in many cases they can successfully re-apply for a FOID card and petition a court for the return of any confiscated firearms.
Chicago Gun Crimes Lawyer
If you are having trouble obtaining a FOID card or believe you have had firearms wrongfully confiscated by the police, then an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complicated web of Illinois gun laws. For more information, contact Barney & Hourihane for a consultation.