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Illinois State Police outline firearm restraining order protocol

Firearms restraining order
Firearms restraining order(MGN)
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 12:48 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - Last year, the Illinois General Assembly made a commitment to addressing gun violence through the passage of the Firearm Restraining Order Act.

Now, a commission chaired by Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly, has been tasked with building the protocol for how law enforcement can implement these orders.

Input on these potentially live saving decisions will be garnered from State’s Attorneys, chiefs of police, representatives of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board on how to address utilizing firearm restraining orders to improve public safety.

“The Firearm Restraining Order (FRO), sometimes called a Red Flag Law, allows family members, household members, and law enforcement to work with courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others,” according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website.

Beginning July 1, Illinois residents will begin to see public service announcements focused on education about firearm restraining orders.

“Easy access to guns is a significant risk factor for injury and death. This law provides families, household members, and law enforcement a judicial pathway for temporarily removing firearms and prohibiting future gun purchases for the duration of the order,” an explainer states on the Cook County Sheriff’s website.

In its first meeting, the Commission last week discussed an officer training program on the use of FROs, how to promote the option in a domestic violence situation and how to identify situations in which a FRO is appropriate.

Details about best protocol are an ongoing discussion, however the Commission agrees that it could be modeled similarly to domestic violence Orders of Protection.

Most important, residents should know that firearm restraining orders are available today:

  • Request a petition from your local circuit court.
  • Complete and submit the petition to the circuit court where the respondent or person in crisis lives.
  • If the judge issues a FRO, the court will send the FRO to local law enforcement to serve the summons.
  • Attend the hearing scheduled by the court. A hearing will be scheduled within 14 days of the summons being served.

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