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Illinois State Police Continues To Strengthen Firearms Safety Effort

The Illinois State Police (ISP) is increasing public safety by providing updates and
clarity to two firearm ownership tools aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of those who pose a
significant threat to themselves or to others.

Monday, ISP adopted updates approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to the
administrative rule governing Clear and Present Danger reporting under the Firearm Owners Identification
Card (FOID) Act. The updated rule, which allows for a broader use of Clear and Present Danger reports,
was proposed in the wake of the July 4, 2022 shooting in Highland Park. Clear and Present Danger
reporting is a mechanism upon which ISP may revoke or deny a FOID for an individual who poses a
serious threat.

“When determining whether to issue or revoke a FOID card, it is imperative ISP has as much information
and evidence as possible,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Updates to this administrative rule will
strengthen ISP’s ability to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”

Prior to the Clear and Present Danger Emergency filing in July 2022, administrative rules required a
subject’s clear and present danger had to be “impending,” or “imminent.” The statutory definition in the
FOID Act, more broadly defines Clear and Present Danger as simply requiring “physical or verbal
behavior, such as violent, suicidal, or assaultive threats, actions, or other behavior.” The changes to the
approved rule makes the definition of “clear and present danger” more consistent with what is written in
the FOID Act and is not constrained by the immediacy of a situation. The broader definition can better
inform current or future decisions on FOID card revocations or denials based on risks to public safety.
The rule outlines that Clear and Present Danger reports submitted to ISP from a certified medical
professional, school administrator, or law enforcement agency that don’t meet the definition of Clear and
Present Danger under the FOID Act will be retained for five years, similar to other mental health reports
submitted by mental health practitioners and facilities. The rule change also allows ISP to maintain and
use a Clear and Present Danger report in instances when the individual did not have a FOID card or was
not actively seeking a card at the time the Clear and Present Danger report was submitted. The rule will
be included in the upcoming Illinois Register.

Another tool to increase public safety is the Firearms Restraining order (FRO), which allows law
enforcement officers and family or household members to obtain a court order temporarily restricting an
individual who is determined to be at risk of harming themselves or others from securing or maintaining
access to firearms, ammunition, or firearm parts while respecting the individual’s constitutional rights and
providing a judicial procedure for challenging the Order.

The Commission on Implementing the Firearms Restraining Order Act (Commission) recently approved
a model policy to provide an overall framework law enforcement can follow to secure and execute a
Firearms Restraining Order (FRO).
“It is important law enforcement agencies know how to safely and legally execute a Firearms Restraining
Order,” said Director Kelly. “The model policy created by the Commission contains procedures that allow
law enforcement agencies to comply with all firearms laws while respecting individuals’ constitutional
and due process rights.”
The policy addresses procedures for law enforcement in the following areas among others:
– petitioning for a FRO (either emergency or six-month)
– serving a FRO issued by the court
– securing firearms, ammunition, and firearm parts surrendered by subject of the FRO
– executing a FRO search warrant
– returning firearms, ammunition, or firearm parts
– attending court hearings
– training

Each Illinois law enforcement agency may make small modifications to the model policy but must adopt
a policy that aligns with the model.
The Commission was created through Public Act 102-0345 and appointed on June 8, 2022 to develop the
model policy with consultation from Illinois counties and others states with similar laws that have seen
successful implementation. The Commission is chaired by ISP Director Kelly and includes the following
members:
– Gregory E. Ahern, Jr. – Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
– Lance Camp – Henry County Public Defender
– Cordelia Coppleson – Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’s Office
– Kevin Doyle – Sheriff, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
– J. Hanley – Winnebago County State’s Attorney
– Jodi Hoos – Peoria County State’s Attorney
– Russ Idle – Chief, Galesburg Police Department
– Ana Lalley – Chief, Elgin Police Department
– Mike Magno – Lieutenant, Chicago Police Department
– Jennifer Martin – Violence and Injury Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health
– Jamie Mosser – Kane County State’s Attorney
– Darren Popkin – Sheriff, Montgomery County, Maryland, Law Enforcement Expert
– Eric Rinehart – Lake County State’s Attorney
– Cheryllynn Williams – Deputy Director, Illinois Law Enforcement Standards Training Board
– Dan Wright – Sangamon County State’s Attorney
– Kimberly Wyatt – Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King County Prosecutor’s Office, National District
Attorneys Association Designee
The model policy can be found on the ISP website at https://isp.illinois.gov/Foid/StatutoryRegulation.

1 comment
  1. Nikolas Brown
    Nikolas Brown
    November 23, 2022 at 5:35 am

    Honestly, clear and present danger is subjective. So they’re saying there’s a suitable blanket definition of “clear and present danger”. But everyone, literally everyone (cops too) process “dangerous situations” differently. And cops are notoriously trigger happy.

    Reply

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