Request a petition from your local circuit court, or download one here.
The Firearm Restraining Order (FRO) is a law that allows family members, household members, and law enforcement to work with courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others.
If you are in immediate danger, please contact local law enforcement or dial 911.
Easy access to guns is a significant risk factor for injury and death. In response to tragic events across the country, Illinois has made a commitment to addressing gun violence, leading to the passage of the FRO law. This law provides families and loved ones, household members, and law enforcement a judicial pathway for temporarily removing firearms and prohibiting future gun purchases for the duration of the order.
To obtain a FRO, you need to file a petition with a court Here are the steps:
Complete and submit the petition to the Circuit Court where the respondent lives. Circuit court clerks are required to assist you through this process.
If the judge issues a FRO, the court will send the FRO to local law enforcement to serve the summons/warrant.
Attend the hearing scheduled by the court. A hearing will be scheduled within 14 days of the summons being served.
How does a FRO help people in crisis stay safe?
The FRO helps family members and law enforcement protect a loved one who is dangerous to themselves or others by temporarily prohibiting them from accessing guns. It requires temporary removal of firearms from the subject of the order and prohibits new purchases for the duration of the order. This creates safer circumstances for the individual to seek treatment, stabilize their behavior, or access resources to address the underlying causes of their dangerous behaviors.
What can and cannot a FRO do?
A FRO is a court order that:
Additionally, the court shall, upon a finding of probable cause that the respondent possesses firearms, issue a search warrant directing law enforcement to seize the respondent’s firearms.
A FRO only places restrictions on possession of firearms for a defined period of time. It does NOT:
Who can petition for a Firearms Restraining Order?
You can ask (petition) the Court for a Firearm Restraining Order if you are a family member of the respondent. Family members include the respondent’s:
In addition, law enforcement officers* may petition for a Firearms Restraining Order.
If a person you know is at risk of harming themselves or others with a firearm, even if the person does not currently have access to guns, but you do not fit into the descriptions above, then you can inform someone who does, including law enforcement. An officer may investigate and file a petition if they find that grounds exist.
There are two types of FROs that may be issued in Illinois:
Emergency FRO (form): Emergency FROs are also available to family members, and law enforcement. The petitioner may request an Emergency/Ex Parte FRO by filing an affidavit or verified pleading alleging that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger to themselves or others by having a firearm in their custody or control. An emergency hearing will be held on an ex parte basis, that is, without notice to the respondent. This hearing will be held the same day that the petition is filed, or the next day the Court is in session. If a circuit or associate judge finds probable cause to believe that the respondent poses an immediate and present threat of danger, they shall issue an emergency order. The Court shall schedule a full hearing as soon as possible, but no longer than 14 days from the issuance of an emergency FRO, to determine if a Six-Month FRO shall be issued.
Six-Month FRO (form): A Six-Month FRO is available to family members, and law enforcement. After filing a FRO petition using the verified petition, a hearing will be scheduled with the Court within 30 days from the receipt of the petition, in order to determine if a Six-Month FRO should be issued. The respondent shall be given notice of the hearing and an opportunity to be heard. The the petitioner must prove by “clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent poses a significant danger of personal injury to himself, herself, or another[.]”. During the scheduled hearing the judge may ask for further evidence and testimony to determine if there are grounds to issue a six-month order. Six-Month FROs may be renewed before they expire if the judge finds the respondent to be an ongoing danger to themselves or others.
Will there be a filing fee or a court fee?
No. There are no court and filing fees for petitioning for an FRO. This includes fees associated with having law enforcement serve an FRO.