FOID Applications for Convicted Felons
In most states across the U.S., conviction on a felony charge can lead to a person losing many civil rights, some temporarily and others permanently. In Illinois, one of the rights a person stands to lose upon conviction of felony charges is the right to firearms ownership . While the loss of this right is not technically permanent, the law makes it difficult for a convicted felon to regain the ability to legally own a firearm.
Firearm Owner’s Identification Card
In Illinois, gun owners are required to possess a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, also known as a FOID card, in order to buy or own a gun. When a person is convicted of a felony, and he or she is a gun owner with a valid FOID card, the card is revoked after the person’s conviction. In addition, when applying for a FOID card, a person has to make a statement declaring that he or she has not been convicted of a felony. However, if a person’s felony conviction is far enough in the past, he or she may be eligible for a FOID card if other conditions are met.
Under Illinois law, a person who is prohibited from getting a FOID card and from owning a firearm for a felony conviction can apply to the Director of the State Police, or to a court in the county where he or she lives to have the decision overturned. The person making such an application has to satisfy the following conditions to the satisfaction of the director or applicable court in order to get the revocation overturned:
• The applicant must serve the State’s Attorney with a copy of the application 30 days before the hearing on the matter;
• The applicant must not have been convicted of a forcible felony under the laws of Illinois or any jurisdiction within 20 years of the application, or 20 years must have passed since the applicant was last imprisoned on a forcible felony conviction;
• The applicant must not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public. This determination is made by looking into the applicant’s criminal record;
• Restoring the applicant’s rights must not be contrary to public interest; and
• Restoring the applicant’s rights must not be against federal law.
While a person convicted of a felony may be able to meet the first two requirements easily, it may be more difficult for him or her to satisfy the other three. If a person has no other arrests or convictions after the felony conviction, he or she is more likely to have a revocation reversed because he or she can show that he or she would not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public. However, the real difficulty comes in overcoming the fifth condition, due to the federal prohibitions on gun ownership for people convicted of certain crimes .
Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney
It may be a difficult and extended process to regain gun rights for a person convicted of a felony; however, it is not impossible. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to better assess your particular case and better advise you on the possibility of regaining your rights to own firearms. The best way to avoid the consequences of a felony conviction would be to avoid the conviction in the first place if possible. If you have been arrested on felony charges, you should consult with an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.