A gun owner’s card in Chicago is officially called an owner's identification (FOID) card. It is issued by the Illinois State Police. You can’t legally possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois without one.
Basically, three types of criminal records bar you from being given a FOID card. They are:
· A conviction for any felony
· A domestic violence conviction
· A conviction within the last five years for battery or assault with a firearm.
Guns themselves are not registered under the system. A FOID card licenses the gun owner or the user of the firearm. The guns themselves are not licensed or registered at all.
Regulation of gun ownership is mandated under federal and state law. Illinois has some of the strictest controls in the country. Nevertheless, demand for firearms is rising in Chicago as it falls in much of the rest of the country.
The Gun Control Act was passed in 1968 following the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It imposed stricter licensing and regulation on the firearms industry including new categories of firearms offenses. The act bans the sale of firearms and ammunition to felons and certain other prohibited Individuals.
However, the Illinois law requiring a FOID card dates back to 1967, even before the federal regulations were passed.
As well as banning mail-order firearm sales, the federal law lists characteristics the disqualify you for gun ownership. The Illinois law is even more stringent. You cannot carry a weapon
1. If you are under 18 years old even if concealed;
2. You are under 21 years old and you have been convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense or are adjudged delinquent;
3. You are a drug addict
4. You have been a patient in a mental hospital within the past five years;
5. You suffer from mental retardation;
6. You are confined in penal institution; and
7. You are a convicted felon.
Two of the federal prohibitions deal with criminal records. It’s a federal crime for anyone with any kind of felony, or any misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, to possess a gun or ammunition.
Federal law makes it an offense to have a firearm if someone has taken out an order of protection against you that prohibits you from having a gun.
Violating the federal firearms law can lead to large fines, and land you in prison for up to 10 years.
In Illinois, it’s a crime to possess a firearm or ammunition without a FOID card. The circumstances depend whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor. Illinois law is in line with federal law in stating you can’t get a FOID card if you have either a felony conviction or a domestic violence offense on your record.
You must be an Illinois resident to receive a card and to be at least 21 years old. If you are under the age of 21, you need written consent from a parent or legal guardian, who must be eligible for a FOID card.
Illinois is also in line with federal law by stating you can't get a card if you are the subject of an order of protection that specifically prohibits having guns.
In Illinois, you can’t get a card if you were convicted of an offense like an assault, a battery, aggravated assault or violation of an order of protection, in which a gun was used or possessed in the last five years.
Nobody under 21 can get a FOID card, even with potential permission if they have been convicted of any misdemeanor outside a traffic offense or is an adjudged delinquent.
If you fall foul of the strict firearms possession laws in Illinois, you can end up facing serious consequences. Call our Chicago criminal defense firm at (312) 229-0008.