How to Get a Firearm Restraining Order

Information for Law Enforcement

Firearm Restraining Order (Emergency 14 Days)

Illinois law allows a law enforcement officer to petition for an emergency FRO at any time of the day or night. Because an emergency FRO requires ‘immediate and present danger,’ it will be requested by law enforcement at the scene of the emergency and issued to the officer orally by the judge (generally over the phone). To obtain an emergency FRO the officer-petitioner must do the following:

  • Explain to a judicial officer why probable cause for the issuance of an emergency FRO exist and ask for oral or written approval of the emergency FRO.
  • Serve the order on the respondent of the order (if the respondent may reasonably be located).
  • Advise the respondent that he/she is required to surrender or dispose of all firearms and ammunition immediately. Execute the search warrant issued by the Circuit Court and retrieve the FOID, CCL (if applicable), all firearms and ammunition. Take them into temporary custody (430 ILCS 67).
  • Inform the restrained person of any scheduled hearing regarding the order (430 ILCS 67).
  • Memorialize the order of the court on the Emergency Firearms Restraining Order form  If the order was obtained telephonically, the judicial officer will have to sign the form as soon as practicable following the execution of the warrant.
  • File a copy of the order with the Court as soon as practicable after issuance.
  • Have the order entered into the Illinois Law Enforcement Data System (LEADS) database maintained by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
  • As soon as practicable, submit Proof of Personal Service to the Department of State Police for prompt entry into the Illinois Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS)

Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) on the same day it is issued by the Court. If an emergency firearms restraining order was issued in accordance with Section 35 of this Act, the order shall be entered in the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS) as soon as possible after receipt from the clerk.

(b) The Department of State Police shall maintain a complete and systematic record and index of all valid and recorded firearms restraining orders issued or filed under this Act. The data shall be used to inform all dispatchers and law enforcement officers at the scene of a violation of firearms restraining order of the effective dates and terms of any recorded order of protection. (430 ILCS 67/1).   

Once issued, the emergency FRO will be in effect for 14 days. When serving the order the law enforcement officer serving the order shall inform the respondent that he or she is not allowed to purchase or possess firearms for the duration of the order.

Alternatively, if the respondent is determined to not to be an immediate threat to harm themselves or others, within 24 hours of the order being served, the respondent may elect to sell or store their firearms with a federally licensed gun dealer and submit a FORM ISP 2-636.  The respondent must also provide a receipt showing proof of the sale or payment for storage service within 48 hours to the law enforcement agency which served the order. Failure on the part of the restrained person to do so will be a violation of the order.

A respondent who knowingly violates a Firearms Restraining Order is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor (430 ILCS 67/65. Prosecution for a violation of a Firearms Restraining Order shall not bar concurrent prosecution for any other crime, including a crime that may have been committed while violating the Firearms Restraining Order.

When an Emergency FRO is issued, the Circuit Court will schedule a subsequent hearing within 7 days in which you and the respondent have an opportunity to explain whether a 6-month FRO should be issued. If, after the hearing, the Court determines that the petitioner has proven by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent continues to pose a significant danger to self or others and removal of firearms is needed to prevent injury, a FRO, prohibiting the purchase and possession of firearms, will be issued for up to 6 months.

FRO After Notice and a Hearing (6-month)

6-Month Firearms Restraining Orders are available to law enforcement and family or household members, including spouses, parents, grandparents, children, stepparents, stepchildren, domestic partners, siblings, or roommates and persons who have regularly resided on the same property as the respondent of the petition within the last six months.

Obtain and fill out Petition for Firearms Restraining Order, and Six-Month FIrearms Restraining Order and submit them to the Circuit Court in the county in which the respondent of the petition resides.

The judge will then schedule a hearing date within 7-days of the petition being filed.

Prior to the court hearing, copies of the above forms Verified Petition for Firearms Restraining & Six Month Firearms Restraining Order must be served on the respondent.

A 6-month FRO may be issued by a Circuit Court after a hearing of  your petition shows by “clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger of injury to self or others” by having access to a firearm and that the removal of firearms is necessary to prevent injury, and after the respondent of the petition has the opportunity to respond to the order.

When attending the hearing, the Petitioner should bring 2 copies of any documents and the petition that help prove the reasons why the Petitioner believes a firearms restraining order is necessary.

Some of the documents may include:

  • Written statements from witnesses
  • Any relevant photos
  • Medical or police reports
  • Damaged property
  • Threatening communications, e.g.  letter, email, or voice mail message

Remember, bring 2 copies of all documents and the petition!


Additionally, witnesses may attend the hearing, provide evidence and statements.

During a hearing the Court will asses the dangerousness of the individual based on the following criteria:

  • Recent threat or act of violence directed toward self or others
  • A violation of a domestic violence emergency protective order that is in effect at the time the Court is considering the petition
  • A recent violation of an unexpired domestic violence protective order
  • Any conviction for any crime that prohibits purchase and possession of firearms under Illinois law (Read more about individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in Illinois here)
  • Patterns of violence or threatened violence within the prior 12 months directed toward self or others

The Court may consider any other evidence that is indicative of an increased risk of violence, such as the reckless use of a firearm

The Court may also consider whether or not other means less restrictive than a restraining order have been tried and have not worked or are not appropriate

If the 6-month FRO is approved and the restrained party has not dispossessed him/herself of firearms, ammunition, and magazines they must do so immediately. The respondent may: turn over all firearms, ammunition, magazines to law enforcement for safe keeping; the respondent may store firearms with another FOID holder NOT RESIDING in the respondent’s home;  or sell the firearms to an authorized Federal Firearms Licensee (gun dealer). The respondent must dispose of all firearms, ammunition and magazines in his/her possession  within 24 hours. If a FRO is issued to a non-law-enforcement petitioner, the petitioner may ask that law enforcement serve the order and remove the firearms, ammunition, and magazines, at no cost to the petitioner (see 430 ILCS 67 for more details).

If the Court issues a restraining order at the hearing, the judge must sign a written order on Six month Firearms Restraining Order form.

If the respondent was at the hearing, you do not have to legally serve him or her with a copy of Form GV-130  If the respondent was not at the hearing, then they do need to be served a copy, similar to a 14-day Temporary Emergency FRO.

After a FRO is issued, you may choose to terminate the order if circumstances change. Click here to learn more about this process.

You may renew a 6-month FRO within three months of the initial FRO ending (but not after it ends). Click here to learn more about this process.

Documents

Source: Champaign County Circuit Clerk

Six Month Firearms Restraining OrderIf the Court issues a restraining order at the hearing, the judge must sign a written order on Six month Firearms Restraining Order form