Will I lose my FOID card because of an order of protection?

by Sami Azhari on May 6, 2010

Order of Protection Revoke FOID

A new law became effective in Illinois on January 1, 2010 concerning the right to possess firearms when subject to an order of protection. The new law provides that the Illinois State Police shall revoke the Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card of a person who is named as a respondent in an order of protection.

An order of protection can be sought for abuse or harassment between two persons with a familial relationship. The law requires the court to issue an order of protection for a family or household member who can show by preponderance of the evidence that he or she has been victim to abuse or harassment.

The law also provides that if the court, after hearing the petitioner’s testimony, determines there is a risk of illegal use of firearms, the court will make a requirement in the order of protection that the respondent must surrender his or her FOID card to the local police department.

Generally, the State Police will send a notice to the respondent within 30 days of the court order indicating that an order of protection has been issued. Once a FOID card has been revoked, the person who previously possessed the FOID card is no longer permitted to possess or own any firearms. Possession of a firearm without a FOID card is a criminal offense in Illinois that is generally a Class A misdemeanor offense (up to one year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine). However, under circumstances involving an order of protection, the offense is much more serious.

Possessing a firearm without a FOID card with the person’s FOID card has been revoked or subject to revocation is a Class 3 felony offense with a punishment of 2-5 years in prison and a possible $25,000 fine. The offense is probationable. A conviction for a felony offense cannot be expunged or sealed.

It does not matter whether the order of protection is emergency (14 days) or plenary (2 years). Any order of protection will jeopardize a FOID.

FOID card revocations are common during divorce or separation between spouses. Often a spouse will seek an order of protection to gain the upper hand in the divorce proceedings, because an order of protection can award exclusive possession of the marital residence, temporary child custody, etc. But the effect of an order of protection has become much more serious with this new law and respondents should seek legal counsel.

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