FAQ: My Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) was revoked due to a prior felony or domestic conviction. Did I lose my 2nd Amendment Right to possess a firearm forever?
Short answer: Not necessarily. And we can help you.
At Hall, Rustom & Fritz LLC, we regularly respond to inquiries regarding citizens who have lost their FOID privileges due to a prior conviction. Many believe their rights to possess a firearm have been lost forever. We are proud to say that is NOT TRUE.
In September, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court decided Coram v. State of Illinois, 2013 IL 113867, ruling that a citizen with a past domestic violence conviction, may petition his/her local circuit court (the court where their residence is located), to remove the federal disability.
If the petitioner convinces a local court that he/she, after reviewing the circumstances of their domestic violence conviction, coupled with his/her lack of subsequent criminal history and evidence of good character, would not likely act in a manner dangerous to public safety, and that granting such relief would not be contrary to public interest, the Court can grant the petition and thereby REMOVE the federal disability.
The Court may then order the Illinois State Police to issue a valid FOID card from that point.
But wait! Do you think that a court order is going to stop the Illinois State Police from denying you a FOID?
Think again…The ISP has creatively (and unlawfully) began issuing cheaply made laminated cards with bright red writing on it stating, “This Person is Prohibited from Possessing Firearms Under Federal Law.”
Thought you were in the clear? Think again.
Even though an Illinois judge may grant you the relief you seek, that doesn’t mean the Feds will not prosecute you if you possess firearms or firearm ammunition.
You may be safe from state prosecution of a violation of the Illinois FOID Card Act, but you will not be safe from federal prosecution.
The only way to remove that fear is to challenge the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment from Congress in federal court. The US Supreme Court has not answered the legal questions raised by the Coram case.
One important question is this: Does the Illinois Supreme Court (ILSC) decision in Coram actually remove the federal disability brought on by a prior domestic violence conviction? The ILSC thinks it does; however, that remains to be answered.
Thus, we at Hall, Rustom & Fritz do not advise you to brazenly possess firearms even if a state judge in Illinois grants your petition. You could still be subjected to criminal prosecution. It is recommended you read HRF attorney Jeff Hall’s blog article on FOID Card Legal Issues linked below for a more detailed analysis.