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Legal Information: Illinois

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
January 23, 2024

What is a firearms restraining order?

A firearms restraining order is a civil court order that prohibits an individual (called the respondent) from having firearms in his/her custody or control or from purchasing or receiving a firearm.1

1 430 ILCS 67/5

Who can file for a firearms restraining order?

You can file for a firearms restraining order if the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself, herself, or another in the near future by having a firearm in his/her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm. Additionally, to file for a firearms restraining order, you must be:

  • the respondent’s family member; or
  • a law enforcement officer.1

“Family members” include:

  1. the respondent’s:
    • spouse;
    • parent;
    • child;
    • step-child;
    • relative by blood or marriage; and
  2. a person who shares a home with the respondent.2

1 430 ILCS 67/5
2 430 ILCS 67/5

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of firearms restraining orders: emergency firearms restraining orders and six-month firearms restraining orders.

Emergency Firearms Restraining Order – A judge can issue an emergency order on the same day that the petition is filed or the next day that the court is open.1 An emergency order can be issued ex parte, which means that the respondent does not need to be in the courtroom or have prior notice of the case for the judge to issue the order.2 If the judge believes that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or others by having a firearm, the judge can issue the emergency order.3 The judge should schedule a hearing for the six-month order as soon as possible. An emergency order can stay in effect for up to 14 days.4

Six-month Firearms Restraining Order – The judge will hold a hearing for a six-month firearms restraining order after the petitioner receives an emergency restraining order. A petitioner can also request that the judge issue a six-month firearms restraining order without first filing for an emergency order. If the petitioner does this, the judge must hold a hearing within 30 days of the petition for a six-month order being filed.5 If the judge issues a firearms restraining order after the respondent has notice and the opportunity to appear, the judge can issue the order for six months.6

1 430 ILCS 67/35(e)
2 430 ILCS 67/35(d)
3 430 ILCS 67/35(f)
4 430 ILCS 67/35(i)
5 430 ILCS 67/40(d)
6 430 ILCS 67/40(g)

What protections can I get in a firearms restraining order?

In both an emergency firearms restraining order and a six-month firearms restraining order, the judge can order the respondent to:

  • not have firearms in his/her custody or control and not purchase, possess, or receive firearms while the order is in place; and
  • turn in any Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and concealed carry license in his/her possession to law enforcement.1

If the judge orders either a six-month order or an emergency order, s/he will also issue a search warrant for the local police to find and take the respondent’s firearms. To order this warrant, the judge must find probable cause to believe that the respondent has firearms.2

1 430 ILCS 67/35(g); 67/40(h)
2 430 ILCS 67/35(f-5); 67/40(g-5)