Illinois Gun Laws: The Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card

FOID, Illinois law, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerThe state of Illinois has long been known to maintain some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country. While proponents of such laws cite public safety and the goal of reduced violent crime, others are concerned that strict enforcement compromises residents’ right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Regardless with which side of the political discussion one may identify, violations of the current laws regarding firearms can be extremely serious.

In order to legally own or possess a firearm in Illinois, a resident must first obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, also known as a FOID card. A valid FOID card grants an individual the permission to own a pistol, handgun, rifle, or other firearm and associated ammunition in compliance with state regulations. It does not, however, permit the owner to carry the firearm in a concealed manner on his or her person or in a vehicle. A separate legal permit, called a Concealed Carry License, is required and is not included in the FOID card application process.

Obtaining an FOID card is a relative simple process for those who clearly meet the requirements set forth by Illinois law. For those whose background may present challenges, the process may take a little longer. Either way, a resident wishing to obtain an FOID card must apply via the online portal provided by the Illinois State Police. Alternatives to the online system may be available in certain situations. The State Police use the submitted information to verify that an applicant meets the criteria of the state’s Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.

To qualify for an FOID card, applicant must:

  • Be a resident of Illinois;
  • Be at least 21 years old. Those under 21 must have appropriate written parental consent and no convictions other than traffic offenses;
  • Have no prior felony convictions;
  • Not be addicted to drugs;
  • Have not been a patient at a mental health facility, with exceptions;
  • Not be intellectually or developmentally disabled, or adjudicated as mentally disabled;
  • Not be prohibited from possessing a firearm by an order of protection or other court order; and
  • Not have been convicted of firearm-related crimes, or domestic battery.

In most cases, the process can be completed within 30 days. However, the Illinois State Police acknowledges that, sometimes, it may take some extra time. “We’ve never wanted to rush these,” said Monique Bond, a State Police spokeswoman. “Some applications require a manual review.”

If you are facing weapons charges in Illinois or have questions about the FOID card process, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney. At Cosley Law Office, protecting your rights is our highest priority. Call us today for a free consultation with a skilled lawyer who can help you understand your options.

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