A new law can help!
Illinois’ Firearms Restraining Order (FRO) 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 members* and law enforcement officers** can file a petition to obtain a FRO, which can last from 14 days up to six months. A six-month FRO can be renewed before it expires if the danger still exists.
*Includes spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or step-child of the respondent, or a person who shares a common dwelling with the respondent (roommates). See relationship code on FRO petition form for all eligible relationship statuses.
**Includes sheriff’s departments, police departments, and other law enforcement agencies.
Why is a FRO an important tool for public health?
Educating community members and families about the FRO can help reduce the potential for danger when a gun is present in the home of someone who is at risk of harming themselves or others. FROs empower the people who are traditionally aware that a loved one is dangerous or in crisis to remove his or her access to guns and prevent a tragedy. The FRO law gives standing to the individuals who are most likely to notice the warning signs of dangerousness, such as family members and law enforcement officers, and allows them to disarm a loved one or individual who poses a threat to the health and safety of themselves or others. A FRO works as a prevention measure, making it an important tool in the effort to combat the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.