REMEMBER - CALL 911 - IF THREATS OR DANGER PRESENT
Laws are for Everyone’s Safety – But if you feel threatened or believe someone is in danger – Call 911 for Help!
People who feel that they are in danger from a family member or other person that has access to a firearm should call 911 and seek immediate assistance from their local police department. Police officers can respond right away and take steps to make the situation safe.
What is an Illinois’ Firearms Restraining Order (FRO)?
A law that allows family or household members and law enforcement officers to obtain a court order that temporarily prohibits an at-risk person from accessing firearms or obtaining any new firearms. The firearm removal and purchase restriction can last from 14 days to six months, depending on the type of order and what the judge thinks is appropriate. Only when the order expires or is terminated may firearms be returned to the restrained person. A six-month FRO may be renewed before it expires if the danger still exists. Illinois is among 17 states, plus the District of Columbia, which have some version of “extreme risk protection orders" (ERPOs), more commonly known as “red flag laws”.
WHO CAN REQUEST A FRO AND HOW DO YOU GET ONE?
Family members* and law enforcement officers can file a petition to obtain a FRO with the Circuit Court in the county which the person to be restrained resides. A health provider cannot petition directly for a FRO. If a patient has risk factors such as an emotional crisis or dementia, and is demonstrating signs of being dangerous such as suicidal thoughts, aggression, public threats of violence, or is exhibiting other dangerous behaviors, you may consider contacting your local police department, or advising a client’s family member about the FRO. Educating patients and families about the FRO can help reduce the potential for danger when a gun is present in the home of someone who is at risk of harming themselves or others. In case of emergency, you may need to contact the local police department, who can serve a FRO as soon as it is issued.
*Includes spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent, or a person who shares a common dwelling with the respondent (roommates). See relationship code on FRO petition form for all eligible relationship statuses.