The United States has always had an interesting culture surrounding firearms, one that the majority of the rest of the world does not quite understand. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that citizens are given the right to bear arms, but firearm ownership is very much a state issue. In Illinois, citizens can legally purchase and own a firearm once they have applied and been approved for a firearm owner identification (FOID) card. However, gun violence is still an issue across the country and in Illinois. This is why the state passed a so-called “red flag” law in an attempt to temporarily prevent those with access to guns from committing violent criminal acts.
What Are Red Flag Laws?
Red flag laws, which are also sometimes called extreme risk laws, are not unique to the state of Illinois. In fact, Illinois was one of the most recent states to pass a red flag law and only just passed the law in 2018. Although red flag laws differ from state to state, they all aim to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a risk to others. In some states, only certain people, like police officers or other law enforcement officials, can file a petition to remove a person’s firearms.
Firearms Restraining Order Act
Illinois’ version of a red flag law, which is referred to as the Firearms Restraining Order Act, went into effect at the beginning of 2019. In Illinois, a petition to remove a person’s firearms can be filed by a family or household member or by a police officer who believes that the person poses a threat to themselves or others by having a firearm in his or her possession. Once the petition is filed, a judge must hear the petition as soon as possible. If the judge decides that there is enough evidence to establish that the person is indeed a threat to himself or herself or to others, then the court will issue an order to remove any and all firearms from the person’s possession....