For information about Illinois’s Firearms Restraining Order, see our page on Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Illinois.
In Illinois, gun owners are generally required to possess a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card authorizing them to possess firearms. The Illinois Department of State Police (DSP) has the authority to revoke or temporarily suspend a FOID card if the holder becomes ineligible to possess guns.1 Under state law, a person who receives a FOID revocation notice must:2
- Surrender his or her FOID card to the local law enforcement agency where the person resides. The local law enforcement agency must provide the person with a receipt and transfer the FOID card to the Department of State Police; and
- Complete a Firearm Disposition Record form, which must disclose the make, model, and serial number of each firearm owned by the person, the location where each firearm will be maintained during the prohibited term, and if any firearm will be transferred to another person, the name, address and FOID card number of the transferee. A copy of this form must be provided to the person whose FOID card has been revoked and to the Department of State Police.3
A violation of these requirements is a misdemeanor. If a person who receives a notice of revocation fails to comply with these requirements, the local law enforcement agency may petition the circuit court to issue a warrant to search for and seize the FOID card and firearms in the possession of that person.4
A separate provision of Illinois law states that, if a person is convicted of a felony and receives a sentence of probation or a conditional discharge, the person must physically surrender at a time and place designated by the court his or her Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and any and all firearms in his or her possession.5
If a person is charged with certain crimes, including forcible felony, stalking, domestic battery or any violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a condition of release on bail must be that the individual surrender all firearms in his or her possession to a law enforcement officer designated by the court and surrender his or her FOID card to the clerk of the circuit court.6 The court may forego this condition if the circumstances of the case do not clearly warrant it or when its imposition would be impracticable.7 If the FOID card is confiscated, the clerk of the circuit court must mail the confiscated card to the Illinois State Police.8 All legally possessed firearms must be returned to the person upon the charges being dismissed, or if the person is found not guilty (unless found not guilty by reason of insanity).9
There are notable gaps in Illinois’ laws in this area. Comprehensive legislation to close these gaps and strengthen Illinois’ relinquishment process unfortunately stalled in the Legislature in 2020.
Firearm Seizure Act
Illinois law provides that any person can bring a complaint before a circuit court that a person possessing a firearm or firearms has threatened to use a firearm illegally. If the court is satisfied that there is any danger of such illegal use of firearms, it must issue a warrant requiring the apprehension of the person for appearance before the court, and authorizing the seizure of any firearm in the person’s possession. The court must order any firearm taken from the person to be kept by the state for safekeeping for a stated period of time no longer than one year. The firearm or firearms must be returned to the person at the end of the stated period.10
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
For circumstances when the surrender of firearms are required pursuant to a court’s domestic violence protective order, see the “Removal or Surrender of Firearms When Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders Are Issued” subsection of the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Illinois section.
Admission to Mental Health Facilities
Under Illinois law, any mental hospital that admits a person as an inpatient pursuant to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code must confiscate any firearms in the person’s possession at the time of admission, or at any time the firearms are discovered in the person’s possession during the course of hospitalization.11 The hospital must, as soon as possible following confiscation, transfer custody of the firearms to the appropriate law enforcement agency, and give written notice to the person from whom the firearm was confiscated of the identity and address of the law enforcement agency to which it has given the firearm. The law enforcement agency must maintain possession of any firearm it obtains pursuant to this subsection for a minimum of 90 days, and then dispose of the firearm after that period pursuant to state law.12
Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact
- 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/8 and 430 ILCS 65/8.3.
- DSP must also send a notice of the revocation to all law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction to assist with the seizure of the person’s FOID card. 430 ILCS 65/3.1.
- 430 Ill. Stat. Comp. 65/9.5(a), (b).
- 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/9.5(c), (d).
- 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-6-3(a)(9).
- 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/110-10(a)(5).
- 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. 165/0.01, et seq.
- 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-6(c).
- 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-6(c).