Have you lost your fundamental Second Amendment right to bear arms, you are probably mad – and rightfully so. The basic right to protect oneself is so basic and so profound that it is practically unconscionable that the government would ever alter it or restrain it. There are, of course, exceptions that have been carved out and created by court decisions and state laws over the years. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about what constitutes lawful gun ownership. In Illinois, one must possess a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). Without one, just having a single shall casing or live round in your vehicle could subject you to a serious felony. Possession of a firearm by someone without a FOID can mean prison, even for a first-time offense.
Worse yet, many people lose the right to carry a FOID after a felony conviction. But this is not necessarily a permanent loss. Disenfranchisement of rights can be reversed in some instances. For example, a person with a felony arrest may have their FOID card revoked due to the arrest. While their criminal case is pending, they may go a year or more without a FOID card. Even if the individual is found not guilty or has their case dismissed, this does not automatically mean that the Illinois State Police (ISP) will let them have it back. It may require a degree of fighting. It is often easier to petition for expungement of a criminal record first. In other cases, it may not be necessary to do so. Many factors are considered when reviewing a request for reinstatement, so it is very important to work closely with a FOID card attorney who is experienced in criminal law and the administrative procedures of ISP's FOID division.