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Illinois Red Flag Law Defense Attorney

Illinois firearms restraining order defense lawyer

Lawyers Assisting With Firearm Restraining Orders in Chicago and Throughout Illinois

The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, due to the increased concern in recent years about mass shootings and other forms of gun violence, many states, including Illinois, have passed what are known as "red flag" laws. These laws allow law enforcement to seize the weapons of a person who is deemed to be dangerous. If you have found yourself on the wrong side of the red flag law, you will want to work with an experienced attorney to protect your rights and determine how to maintain ownership of your weapons.

The lawyers of Williams & Nickl, LLC have over 55 combined years of experience, and we have represented clients throughout the state of Illinois in a wide variety of administrative proceedings, including concealed carry license appeals. We can help you understand the best ways to defend against the confiscation of your firearms, and if necessary, we will work with you to appeal any decisions made against you in Illinois' courts.

Firearms Restraining Orders in Illinois

Illinois' version of the red flag law is known as the Firearms Restraining Order Act (430 ILCS 67/1, et seq.), and it went into effect on January 1, 2019. Under this law, a petition for a Firearms Restraining Order (FRO) may be filed against a person who is believed to be a danger to themselves or others due to their ownership, possession, or control of one or more firearms. If the petition is granted, and an FRO is issued, the respondent's firearms will be seized, and they will be prohibited from possessing or purchasing any additional firearms. They will also be required to turn over their Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card and Concealed Carry License (CCL) to law enforcement officials.

A petition for an FRO may be filed by a law enforcement officer or by a person's family members, including people related by blood or marriage or anyone who lives in the same home as the respondent. If the petitioner believes that there is an immediate danger posed by the respondent, they may request an emergency Firearms Restraining Order, and if granted, an emergency FRO may be issued on an "ex parte" basis, meaning that the respondent does not need to be notified prior to the issuance of the order. A full hearing must be held within 14 days to determine whether the FRO should be extended. If a person files a non-emergency petition for an FRO, a hearing will be held within 30 days.

At an FRO hearing, the burden of proof is on the petitioner to show clear and convincing evidence that the respondent's possession of a firearm is a significant danger to themselves or others. A judge may consider a variety of evidence, including the respondent's history of unlawful or reckless use of firearms, their previous use or threats of physical force or violence against others, arrests for felony offenses, or abuse of alcohol or drugs.

If an FRO is issued, it will be in effect for six months. However, during this period, a respondent may petition to have the FRO terminated. The respondent will need to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that their possession of a firearm would not put themselves or others in danger. Within three months of the expiration of an FRO, the petitioner may request that the order be renewed for an additional six months, and a hearing will be held to determine whether the respondent's possession of a firearm would continue to place themselves or others in danger.

Contact Our Chicago Area FRO Defense Attorneys

If a petition for a Firearms Restraining Order has been filed against you, immediate steps should be taken to protect your rights. At Williams & Nickl, LLC, we can provide you with representation in an FRO hearing, or we can help you request the termination of an FRO that was issued against you. If a judge has issued an unfavorable decision, we can help you understand your options for filing an appeal in Illinois courts. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today by calling 312-335-9470.

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