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Know the Laws: Illinois

UPDATED September 19, 2017

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Below is information about state gun laws in Illinois.  A restraining order or criminal conviction may make it illegal for an abuser to have a gun.  However, in addition to these state-specific laws, there are also federal gun laws that could apply.  To fully understand all of the legal protections available, it is important that you also read the Federal Gun Laws pages.  Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area.

Please consider getting in touch with a domestic violence advocate in your community for more information on gun laws in your area. To find help in your area, please go to the IL Where to Find Help page.

Guns and Orders of Protection

back to topI have an emergency/interim order of protection against the abuser. Do I have to wait until I receive an interim or plenary order before the abuser's gun is taken away?

No.  Under Illinois law, anyone who has an interim or emergency domestic violence order of protection against him/her cannot legally have a firearm.  Any firearms in the possession of the abuser must be turned over to a person with a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and the abuser must turn over his/her Firearm Owner's Identification Card to the local law enforcement agency.  Also, if the abuser is a law enforcement officer ("peace officer"), s/he must surrender any firearms that are used in the performance of his/her duties to the agency's chief law enforcement officer.* 

However, if someone has a stalking no contact order issued against him/her, the firearm prohibition may not be included in the order.  Prohibiting the respondent from possessing a Firearm Owner's Identification Card or having/buying firearms is one of many protections that the judge could include but it is up to the judge whether or not to include it.  If it is included in the no contact order, the judge is supposed to take the respondent's Firearm Owner's Identification Card and immediately return it to the Department of State Police Firearm Owner's Identification Card Office.**

* 725 ILCS 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)
** 725 ILCS 21/80(b)(4),(e)

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back to topI have an order of protection against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

Under Illinois law, anyone who has a domestic violence order of protection against him/her, including an interim order of protection, emergency order of protection, or plenary order of protection, cannot legally have a firearm.  Any firearms in the possession of the abuser must be turned over to a person with a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and the abuser must turn over his/her Firearm Owner's Identification Card to the local law enforcement agency.  Also, if the abuser is a law enforcement officer ("peace officer"), s/he must surrender any firearms that are used in the performance of his/her duties to the agency's chief law enforcement officer.* 

However, if someone has a stalking no contact order issued against him/her, the firearm prohibition may not be included in the order.  Prohibiting the respondent from possessing a Firearm Owner's Identification Card or having/buying firearms is one of many protections that the judge could include but it is up to the judge whether or not to include it.  If it is included in the no contact order, the judge is supposed to take the respondent's Firearm Owner's Identification Card and immediately return it to the Department of State Police Firearm Owner's Identification Card Office.**

Federal laws, which apply to all states, also restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

State and federal laws that prohibit the abuser from having a gun only apply during the time period that you have an active (valid)  order of protection.  

To speak to someone in your area about local gun laws or to plan for your safety, see IL State and Local Programs to find a program in your area.

* 725 ILCS 5/112A-14(b)(14.5)
** 725 ILCS 21/80(b)(4),(e)

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