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Does Illinois Have Red Flag Laws?

 Posted on November 20, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Cook County criminal defense lawyerYes, Illinois does have red flag laws in place to confiscate arms if necessary. However, Illinois rarely uses the red flag law. In fact, it ranks very low on the list of states in the use of red flag gun laws. So, the chances are rather slim for the state to confiscate your lawfully acquired weapons unless you are facing gun charges in the use of those weapons. As such, it is a smart move to have an experienced gun charges defense attorney on standby to help fight them.

What Are “Red Flag” Gun Laws?

Illinois passed its own red flag law in 2019, allowing family members to petition for the removal of firearms from those who pose a threat to others or themselves. Red flag laws are also known as firearm restraining orders in the state of Illinois and are a tool to be used by the public and prosecutors to help ensure neighborhood safety.

Can The State Confiscate My Weapon If Used in a Crime?

If the state determines that you used a weapon unlawfully, then they do have the right to take away your weapons. As outlined in the Illinois statute, any weapon used or possessed by the convicted offending party will be seized and confiscated by the trial court.

There are also situations in Illinois where, even with a concealed carry permit (CCP), it is still illegal to possess a weapon. An example would be entering a bar or school with a firearm in your possession. Doing so would be considered a crime, and your firearms could be confiscated.

Convicted felons are not allowed to possess a firearm at all, and if found to be in possession of one, can face a Class 3 felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison. Repeat offenders will see much steeper sentences upon conviction.

How Long Can My Firearms Be Taken From Me Under Red Flag Laws?

The minimum time your firearms can be confiscated is two weeks. As long as the red flag order is active, you cannot possess firearms and ammo. Violation of a red flag order could see criminal penalties imposed on you.

Can I Fight a Red Flag Order?

No, and yes. The initial hearing for a red flag petition is oftentimes an ex parte hearing in that you will not have the chance to defend yourself. The court will look at two different types of evidence before making a decision on a red flag order:

  • The preponderance of the evidence
  • Convincing evidence

Once an order is granted, the judge can issue a warrant for law enforcement to search your property and confiscate all weapons found. During the temporary phase of the order, the court will issue a second hearing where you will have the chance to defend yourself against the red flag order and the petitioner’s claims. A successful defense will see the temporary order terminated and your weapons returned. In the event the defense is unsuccessful, the order may, and usually is, extended.

Contact a Cook County, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Red flag laws were put in place to prevent possible gun crimes from occurring. If you violated a red flag order, contact the Luisi Legal Group immediately. To better understand your rights as a firearm owner or with help fighting gun crime charges, it would be in your best interest to consult a Chicago, IL gun crime defense attorney. Our firm will provide a free consultation to go over your case. Contact us today at 773-276-5541.

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