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Know the Laws: Illinois

UPDATED January 23, 2014

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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.

More Information and Where to Get Help

back to topI do not have an order of protection against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?

Under Illinois state law, there are other circumstances (aside from being convicted of a crime or having an order of protection against you) under which a person can lose the right to own a gun.  For example, the Department of State Police has the power to deny an application for Firearm Owner's Identification Card (or to revoke and seize one that was previously issued) if the applicant or holder of the card:

  • is under 21 and does not have the written consent of a parent/guardian;
  • is a drug addict;
  • has been a patient in a mental hospital within the last 5 years; (Note: If the person was a patient in a mental health facility more than 5 years ago, s/he must have a certification that s/he or she is not a clear and present danger to himself, herself, or others.)  However, this restriction does not apply to an active law enforcement officer who did not act in a manner threatening to the officer, another person, or the public as determined by the treating clinical psychologist or physician, and the officer seeks mental health treatment);
  • has a mental condition that poses a clear and present danger to the applicant, any other person(s) or the community;
  • was involuntarily admitted into a mental health facility;
  • is intellectually disabled;
  • has been adjudicated (declared by a judge) as "mentally disabled";
  • has been found to be developmentally disabled;
  • intentionally makes a false statement in the Firearm Owner's Identification Card application;
  • is an undocumented (illegal) immigrant; or
  • is not a resident of Illinois.*
If any of these conditions apply to your situation, please talk to an advocate or lawyer in your area about what steps you can take to enforce this law.  You can find a lawyer or advocate here.

If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety.  See our Staying Safe page for more information.  You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help.  You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our IL State and Local Programs page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.

* 430 ILCS 65/8

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back to topThe abuser uses a gun for his job. Does the law still apply?

Yes.  Under Illinois state law, the judge can order that an abuser turn in his guns even if the abuser is a law enforcement officer, military employee or government employee.  S/he must give the gun(s) to the chief law enforcement executive at his/her job who will keep the gun(s) until the order expires.*

Furtheremore, there are federal gun laws that make it illegal for anyone convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor to buy or have a gun, even if s/he is a police officer or a military employee. To read more, go to Federal Gun Laws.

If you are confused or not sure whether your abuser can still use their gun for work purposes, you can talk to a family violence advocate in your area or call the National Center on Full Faith and Credit to find out more information: 1-800-903-0111. To find a family violence advocate in your area, please go to our IL State and Local Programs page. 

* 750 ILCS 60/214(b)(14.5)(b)

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back to topI've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can write to our Email Hotline.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area (See our IL State and Local Programs page).
  • You can also contact the National Center on Full Faith and Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2

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