no need to leave your home to receive legal consultations and services - Call or click to learn more about phone and videoconferencing with our attorneys

Illinois “Red Flag” Gun Law Explained | How to Petition to Remove Someone’s Firearm

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 28, 2019

In this article, we will explain the new “red flag” gun law in Illinois, including answering the questions “What is the Firearms Restraining Order Act?”, “What is a Red Flag in Illinois Law?” and “How to Remove Someone’s Firearm in Illinois”.

What is The Firearms Restraining Order Act?

In Illinois, under The Firearms Restraining Order Act, guns may be removed temporarily from those who are deemed dangerous. Effective January 1st, 2019, Illinois joins over a dozen states in passing “red flag” laws regarding firearms.  This involves a suspension of a person’s right to buy or own firearms as well as having all of the individual’s guns temporary removed from their possession.

If a person is declared to be a danger, police can temporarily remove all firearms from the possession of the individual in the interest of protecting themselves or others.  The person whose rights are suspended will then have to wait at least two weeks to petition to have their license to own firearms restored.

What is a Red Flag in Illinois Gun Law?

A “red flag” is considered to be any sign that points to a person’s potential intent or likelihood to commit an act of violence against themselves or others.  These can include threats or comments relating to violence, a history of lashing out aggressively, or social media posts and text messages relating to violence.  These red flags can also include signs of a person’s potential violence against themselves such as a history of self-harm or deep depression.

Under the Firearms Restraining Order Act, these “red flags” may serve as evidence to petition for an individual to have their firearms removed for at least two weeks.  Recognizing and noting these signs of potential violence can be vital in assuring that a petition for a temporary firearms restraining order is granted and to know that a person is protected from hurting themselves or others.

How to Remove Someone’s Firearm in Illinois

A petition can be filed by a family member, an interested third party, or by police against an individual they believe to be an immediate and present danger to themselves or others.  This petition for the temporary restraining order must be heard by a judge as soon as possible, either the same day it is filed or on the next court day.  The hearing and order can occur ex parte, meaning with or without the accused individual present and without notice to the individual.  

Proving the “immediate and present danger” involves presenting the red flags as evidence to prove to a judge beyond doubt that the person is a threat worthy of removing their firearms.  This can be a danger to others, such as threatening violence, or a danger to themselves, such as expressing suicidal thoughts.  

If the petition for the restraining order is granted, police can immediately present the order to the individual and remove all of their guns.  Their license to carry and purchase firearms will also be suspended immediately.  The restraining order will be in effect for at least two weeks.  After those two weeks, the individual must petition to appeal for the order to be revoked.  If the individual is still seen as a danger, the order will continue and they must once again wait to appeal.  If the order is revoked, the individual’s firearms will be returned and their license to carry and buy will be restored.

For related reading, see our article on Preliminary Injunctions and Temporary Restraining Orders.

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

Illinois gun laws

Need Legal Help? 

Schedule a

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Family Law & Divorce

We offer free, paid & Online CONSULTATION in:

Family Law & Divorce

Schedule a consultation with our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys

We offer free, paid & online consultation in nearly every area of law throughout Illinois and Iowa. We have a range of options to assist you with your legal needs.

What happens at a legal consultation?
Meet with an attorney for a free consultation to discuss what type of matter you need to discuss with an attorney.
Over the Phone Legal Consultations
Similar to In-person consultations, you discuss your legal needs with our attorneys to discuss your matter.
An online consultation is like an in-person and an over the phone online Consultation. You meet face to face with our attorneys through our online portal.
Paid Legal Consultations
While a free consultation allows us to discuss what we can do in general terms for your legal matter, a paid consultation allows us to answer direct questions.

More Illinois Order of Protection Law Episodes

contact us

Monday to Friday
9am - 5pm

Contact Us
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you
Schedule a

Contact us for a Free Consultation

Schedule a free consultation

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in:

Who We Are
We are your community law firm. Our Illinois & Iowa Attorneys are committed to providing exceptional client service in a cost-effective manner in the areas of Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Guardianship, Criminal Defense, Corporate & Contract Law, Bankruptcy and Real Estate.

Some of Our Accomplishments

Best Child Support Lawyers in Chicago
DuPage County Probate Attorney
Kevin P. O'Flaherty
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...
Naperville attorney
DuPage County Probate Attorney

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required