How you can speak for safety
Illinois’ Firearms Restraining Order (FRO) is a law that allows family members and law enforcement officers to obtain a court order that temporarily prohibits an at-risk person from accessing firearms or obtaining any new firearms. Family and household members* and law enforcement officers can file a petition to obtain a FRO with the Circuit Court in which the respondent (person to be restrained) resides. If a client has risk factors such as an emotional crisis or dementia and is demonstrating signs of being dangerous such as suicidal ideation, aggression, public threats of violence, or is exhibiting other dangerous behaviors, you may consider contacting your local sheriff or police department, or advising a client’s family member about the FRO. In cases of immediate danger, an emergency FRO can be issued and served on the same day.
*Includes spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or step-child of the respondent, or a person who shares a common dwelling with the respondent. See relationship code on FRO petition form for all eligible relationship statuses.
Balancing Duty with Privacy Concerns
Whether you are a conservator of the person, conservator of the estate, a guardian, or a trustee, you have a duty to protect the best interests of your conservatee/ward/beneficiary. If you feel that your beneficiary is at-risk or harming themselves or others, reaching out to a family member or contacting law enforcement can be an essential first step to ensuring the beneficiary’s safety, so long as confidentiality or privacy agreements are not breached.
FROs are orders specifically designed to restrain someone from accessing guns, but there are many types of restraining orders available in Illinois. If a beneficiary has acted violently towards themselves or others, you may want to consider talking to an attorney and their family members about what type of order would be most appropriate for the situation. For more information on the different types of protective orders available visit here.