As the debate on gun control heats up, it’s important to know the laws and regulations surrounding firearms ownership and mental health. The state of Illinois has a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which grants an individual the right to possess a firearm. However, if you have a history of mental health issues, your FOID card may be revoked or suspended. In this article, we’ll discuss how long your FOID card will be revoked if you have mental health issues.
What is a FOID Card?
Before we dive into the details of FOID card revocation, let’s first understand what it is. A FOID card is a requirement for any person who wants to own or possess a firearm in Illinois. It is issued by the Department of State Police and requires an individual to meet certain criteria, including passing a background check and completing a firearms training course. Once an individual has a FOID card, they are allowed to legally possess a firearm in Illinois.
Reasons for Revocation or Suspension of FOID Card
The state of Illinois can revoke or suspend an individual’s FOID card for several reasons. Some of the common reasons for revocation or suspension include:
- Felony conviction
- Domestic violence conviction
- Mental health issues
- Drug addiction or abuse
- Being a fugitive from justice
- Immigration status
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on FOID card revocation or suspension due to mental health issues.
FOID Card Revocation or Suspension Due to Mental Health Issues
If an individual has a history of mental health issues, they may not be allowed to possess a firearm. Mental health issues can include any condition that affects an individual’s ability to make decisions or react appropriately in stressful situations. Examples of mental health issues that can lead to FOID card revocation or suspension include:
- A history of mental illness requiring hospitalization
- A history of violent behavior
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- A history of suicidal behavior or attempts
If an individual has any of these conditions, they may be deemed ineligible for a FOID card or may have their current FOID card revoked or suspended.
How Long Will Your FOID Card be Revoked for Mental Health Issues?
If your FOID card is revoked or suspended due to mental health issues, you may wonder how long it will be before you can possess a firearm again. The answer is not straightforward and depends on several factors.
Under Illinois law, the state must automatically revoke an individual’s FOID card if any of the following occur:
- The individual is adjudicated as a mental defective
- The individual is involuntarily committed to a mental health facility
- The individual is found not guilty by reason of insanity
- The individual is found unfit to stand trial
If any of these conditions are met, the individual’s FOID card is automatically revoked. In this case, the individual must apply for a new FOID card once their mental health condition has improved.
If an individual voluntarily surrenders their FOID card due to mental health issues, they may be able to get it back sooner than if it was revoked by the state. In this case, the individual would need to go through a process to prove that they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. This process may include:
- A mental health evaluation by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist
- Documentation of any completed treatment or therapy
- A letter of support from a mental health professional
- A letter of support from a family member or friend
Depending on the severity of the mental health issue and the evidence presented, an individual may be able to have their FOID card reinstated in as little as a few months.
In conclusion, if you have mental health issues, your FOID card may be revoked or suspended. The length of time the card is suspended or revoked depends on several factors, including whether it was revoked by the state or voluntarily surrendered, and how severe the mental health condition is. Ultimately, it’s important to prioritize mental health and seek treatment if necessary. Once your mental health condition has been addressed and improved, you can take the necessary steps to regain your FOID card and legal firearm ownership.