The Second Amendment of the US Constitution establishes the right to bear arms. Illinois is a state, however, which places additional requirements on residents who wish to legally acquire and possess firearms. Pursuant to the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Act, Illinois residents are required to obtain a FOID Card from the Illinois State Police (ISP) before purchasing or possessing a gun or ammunition. Without a valid FOID Card, an Illinois resident may not buy or possess a gun. This could impact your ability to seek or maintain employment where a firearm is required or engage in hunting or other sportsman activities. The good news is that it is possible to file an appeal when the ISP has found that one should be denied a FOID card. Such appears are complicated. Hiring an attorney can help you challenge a FOID Card denial or revocation and seek reinstatement. I am a Peoria FOID Card appeals lawyer who handles such matters. Contact me today to schedule a consultation.
Peoria lawyer assisting Illinois residents with FOID Card appeals
Illinois residents who want to acquire or possess a gun must typically obtain a FOID Card, pursuant to 430 ILCS 65. This law was designed by the Illinois legislature to identify persons who are eligible to purchase and own firearms and ammunition. Any resident over the age of 21 (or a minor with parental consent) with a clean criminal record and valid driver’s license may apply. It is important to note that a FOID Card is not the same as a concealed carry license, but rather a threshold requirement applicable to all non-exempt gun owners and purchasers. The requirement does not apply to certain federal officials, armed forces members or law enforcement requiring a gun in the performance of their official duties.
The ISP may refuse to issue a FOID Card or seize a previously issued FOID Card when the applicant or holder fails to meet the statute’s eligibility requirements. Essentially, the law grants authority to the ISP to deny a FOID Card on the basis of several “red flags” outlined under the law. The grounds for denial focus on the following key areas:
- Mental illness, such as receiving institutional treatement for mental illness within the past five years, those determined to be mentally retarded or whose mental condition poses a “clear and present danger” to the applicant
- Criminal activity, such as felony convictions in Illinois or elsewhere, persons prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm, convictions for domestic battery or similar offenses in other jurisdictions or convictions for certain violent offenses involving a firearm
- Addiction to or use of certain specified drugs
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to appeal a denial or revocation of your FOID Card. For instance, if you believe the denial was based upon an incorrect review of your record or there are extenuating circumstances surrounding your mental health diagnosis, you may file a request for an appeal through the ISP. An appellant must file an appeal form and evidence to prove that the determination was not warranted. The filing should include evidence, such as affidavits discussing the circumstances surrounding the event, medical records, or otherwise supporting the restoration of your firearm rights. If your card was denied or seized in connection with certain criminal activity, you may be required to pursue an appeal at the Circuit Court level. You must still submit evidence in support of your position and must present such evidence at a hearing. In both types of appeals, you must be able to meet the burden of proof to demonstrate that the determination to deny your application or revoke your FOID Card was faulty. An experienced appeals attorney can help you understand if your are eligible to challenge the ISP’s decision and how best to present your case to the authorities.
I am a Peoria, Illinois attorney assisting those who wish to challenge the denial or revocation of their FOID Cards. I will use your initial consultation to gain an understanding of your situation and to help you understand whether you are eligible to proceed. I will quickly identify and submit the appropriate paperwork and evidence on your behalf and will keep you up to date throughout the process. If possible, I will handle any criminal record expungements, which may lead to the issuance or reinstatement of your FOID Card. I will also represent your interests in the Circuit Court if necessary. I have experience with our local courts and can help you navigate the appeals system. Contact my office today.
In addition to Peoria, I service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.
Peoria attorney providing top customer service to those wishing to appeal the denial or revocation of a FOID Card
An unfair restriction of your firearm rights due to an unjustified FOID Card denial or suspension can be frustrating. It can prevent your employment in certain industries and could unnecessarily restrict your right to bear arms. I pride myself on providing a high level of service and helping my clients challenge and resolve these matters. I stay in contact with my clients throughout the appeal process. I promptly respond to messages and regularly provide clients with my cell phone number. I will make myself available to answer your questions. If you are unsure whether you can appeal a FOID Card determination, contact me today to schedule a consultation.