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Q: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon.
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: thelark2020-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 02 Oct 2005 03:06 PDT
Expires: 01 Nov 2005 02:06 PST
Question ID: 575270
My question is: What is the legal penalty in the state of Illinois for
an ex-felon possessing a firearm, and how can the right to possess a
firearm be restored?

Background:  I am moving to Illinois in November from another state. 
I would like to purchase any kind of firearm solely for the protection
of my home and family.  However, like Martha Stewart, I have a
non-violent felony conviction.  Also, that Arizona conviction happened
over 25 years ago and was my only legal problem.  I have no interest
in violating the law which is why I?m asking the question in the first
place.  I have been told that in some states an ex-felon?s right to
own firearms is automatically restored after so many uneventful years.

Arizona?s statute for restoration of civil rights (A.R.S. 13-910)
provides that an Arizona State Court judge may restore civil rights
subsequent to final discharge from prison.  However, that does not
help if I live in Illinois which apparently lacks any similar remedy.

I am hoping that your answer will include some details about the
firearms law in Illinois as it relates to my question.  For example,
state how an ex-felons rights are restored, if the penalty is
mandatory and if you can cite a recent case that would be plus.  I?m
hoping that the case law will clarify other related questions like -
is an unassembled weapon still considered a firearm?
Subject: Re: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon.
Answered By: hummer-ga on 02 Oct 2005 10:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi thelark2020,

1. How can the right to possess a firearm be restored?

In Illinois, you are eligible to appeal for a Firearm Owner's
Identification Card (FOID) after 20 years has passed since you
completed your sentence for the felony offense. The first step will be
to contact the Firearms Services Bureau (ISP).

What is a FOID card?
"The FOID card was created in 1968, by the FOID Act, as a way to
identify those persons eligible to possess and acquire firearms and
firearm ammunition as part of a public safety initiative in the State
of Illinois.
Who needs a FOID card?
Unless specifically exempted by statute, any Illinois resident who
acquires or possesses firearm or firearm ammunition within the State
must have in their possession a valid Firearm Owner's Identification
(FOID) card issued in his or her name."
Can a person who has been convicted of a felony in the state of
Illinois ever be eligible for a FOID card?
"Applicants who have been convicted of a felony are ineligible to
receive a FOID card. However, an appeal procedure is available in
accordance with 430 ILCS 65/10. Contact the ISP Firearms Services
Bureau at (217) 782-7980 for further information."

Self Help Legal Center
Southern Illinois University School Of Law
"Any person  prohibited  from  possessing  a  firearm under  Sections
24-1.1 or 24-3.1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or acquiring a  Firearm 
Owner's  Identification  Card  under Section  8  of  this  Act  may 
apply  to the Director of the Department of State Police or petition
the circuit  court  in the   county  where  the  petitioner  resides, 
whichever  is applicable in accordance with subsection (a) of this
Section, requesting relief from such prohibition and the  Director  or
court  may  grant  such  relief  if  it is established by the
applicant to the court's or Director's satisfaction that: (0.05)  when
 in  the  circuit  court,  the  State's Attorney has been served with
a written  copy  of  the petition  at least 30 days before any such
hearing in the circuit court and at the hearing the State's Attorney
was afforded an opportunity to present evidence and object to the
  (1)  the applicant  has  not  been  convicted  of  a forcible felony
under the laws of this State or any other jurisdiction   within   20 
years   of  the  applicant's application for a Firearm Owner's
Identification Card, or at least 20 years have passed since the end of
any period of imprisonment imposed in relation to that conviction;
  (2)  the   circumstances regarding a criminal conviction, where
applicable, the applicant's criminal history and his reputation are
such  that the applicant will not be likely to act in a manner
dangerous to public safety; and
  (3)  granting  relief  would  not be contrary to the public interest."

(430 ILCS 65/10) (from Ch. 38, par. 83-10)

In Michigan, the time period a felon must wait to possess a gun after
completing their sentence is five years.
In Illinois, it's 20 years. 

1. What is the legal penalty in the state of Illinois for an ex-felon
possessing a firearm?

720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 
Felony Up to $25,000 Fine &/or 2 to 5 Years in Pen.

133. Unlawful Use or Possession of Weapons by Felons 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1
1. Prohibits firearm possession by person previously convicted of a felony. 

Additional Links of Interest

The Illinois Firearm Resource

How to Clear Your Illinois Criminal Record

You asked for a possible link to a recent case. This really isn't
applicable in your case, because you will be taking advantage of the
appeal procedure with the State Police to apply for your FOID.

I hope this is what you were looking for. If you have any questions,
please post a clarification request and wait for me to respond before
closing/rating my answer.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used: illinois felon firearm unlawful possession
weapon "right to possess" "20 years" felony weapons firearms felons
penalties guns law "illinois state police" 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 etc. Many
combinations of terms were tried.
thelark2020-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I have reviewed the information referenced in your answer and found it
to be accurate.  I think it’s worth mentioning that I called two
Illinois attorneys with these questions before I posted them on
Google.  The answers that I received from these alleged professionals
didn’t even come close to what you provided.  I find that a little
disturbing.  In any case, Martha and I thank you.

Subject: Re: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon.
From: hummer-ga on 10 Oct 2005 10:51 PDT
Dear Lark and Martha,

Thank you so much for getting back to me, I really appreciate it. It's
interesting about the Illinois attorneys, one would think that finding
the relevant Criminal Code and info about the FOID card wouldn't be
all that difficult for them, given the reference material they have at
hand. Oh well, so it goes.  Thank you for your thank you and welcome
to GA!

Subject: Re: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon.
From: thelark2020-ga on 16 Oct 2005 06:37 PDT
To be sure, the attorneys have plenty of reference material.  Maybe
that?s part of problem... too much information.  I got the impression
that their short responses had more to do with the fact that they were
not being paid.  Of course I would have been happy to pay them just
like I paid you.  But the thing is that my insignificant question was
taking their precious time which could be better spent.

Still, I feel strongly about this issue because it has broad
implications.  It involves taking away rights that go beyond the right
to own firearms.  Felons are also prohibited from voting.  Laws like
that disproportionately affect the poor and should be ruled
unconstitutional.  The issue isn?t whether or not we punish crimes,
but whether felons should be disenfranchised forever.

I hope this doesn?t come as a shock but people make mistakes...
especially young people and sometimes those mistakes have serious
consequences.  I?m over 50 years old.  But society still holds me
accountable for breaking the law when I was a college student.  It
doesn?t make sense.  No - I didn?t kill or even hurt anyone.  But what
I did was classified as felony and I was punished for it a long time

Part of the problem is that it?s very easy to commit a felony.  A
19-year old might think that pulling a high school fire alarm is a
prank when it most likely is a felony.  Driving with a suspended
license can be a felony in some situations.  Of course the law varies
in every state but I?m sure this list could be a long one.

In my case, I spent time in jail and lost certain civil rights.  A
50-something year old man will not have the same mentality he had at
the age of 19 or 20.  No intelligent person would argue otherwise, and
I?m making the bold assumption that lawmakers are intelligent.  But
oddly, according to the law in many states I still cannot vote or
possess a firearm even though the offense happened well over 25 years
ago.  And if I understand the law correctly, I could even go prison
for having a single bullet in my possession.  That sort of lawmaking
just fosters resentment when it so easily could provide an incentive
for felons to become and remain good citizens.  After all, that?s what
we want.
Subject: Re: Illinois possession of a firearm penalty and rights of an ex-felon.
From: hummer-ga on 16 Oct 2005 12:53 PDT
Hi Lark and Martha,

Yes, I agree, one would think that all rights would be restored after
one has paid his or hers debt to society, or at the least after a
quarter of a century of living without further problems with the law.
When we are young (I'm afraid I have a few years on you), we aren't
fully cognisant of the consequences of our actions, not only regarding
the law but also one's mortality.  I'm often amazed that so many of us
live to be a ripe old age, alot of it depends so much on luck.  I
shudder to think about how lucky our family has been that we all
actually made it through the teenage years (like the time one son was
coming home through a field in the dark on a motorbike while the
second son decided to go out and meet him on another motobike. Yes,
the obvious head-on crash ensued but noone was seriously hurt).

I don't know if the following links will help, but I think you'll at
least find them interesting.

US Citizen crossing border to visit Canada with DWI on driving record.

How to get ALL civil rights after fed. felony - grew pot (wants passport)

Take care you two,

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