Karol Paredes, Client Relations Manager

Karol Paredes

Client Relations Manager


Take Back Your Rights

Restoring your Second Amendment right to own a firearm can be a difficult, complex process. Many states do not allow you to restore your firearm rights, or they restore them so infrequently that it doesn’t really matter. Fortunately, Illinois has a process for firearm right restoration that provides a way for many residents of Illinois to get back their Second Amendment rights.

As you will see in the information below, it’s often not too difficult to qualify to apply for restoring your firearm rights. With that said, just because you qualify does not mean that you’ll win—in many circumstances the process is quite difficult, and certain places like Cook County frequently make it very challenging. Our law firm has successfully restored firearm rights for many Illinois clients, but it is important to fully understand the process before petitioning to have your firearm rights restored.

This Information Is For You

Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.

You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.

Can You Get Your Second Amendment Rights Back?

The legal requirements to qualify to have your firearm rights restored in Illinois are primarily contained in 430 ILCS 65/10, and include:

  • General Requirements

    • If you have a conviction for a forcible felony, you must have completed your sentence for that offense at least 20 years ago
    • You must reside in the State of Illinois
    • Restoring your firearm rights would not be contrary to the public interest
    • Your criminal history and reputation make it unlikely that you’ll act in a manner dangerous to public safety and
    • Restoring your firearm rights would not be contrary to federal law.

The first few requirements are straightforward, but, as you can see above, the remaining requirements are very subjective, and largely up to the judge’s discretion. In addition, a recently appellate decision in Cook County currently prevents us from restoring firearm rights in the county. This decision only applies to Cook County, but, until the courts rule otherwise or the law changes, restoring your firearm rights in Cook County is not an option.

  • Additional Requirements for Forcible Felonies


    The following offenses are considered forcible felonies under 720 ILCS 5/2-8:

    • Treason
    • First or Second-Degree Murder
    • Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child
    • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
    • Criminal Sexual Assault
    • Robbery
    • Burglary or Residential Burglary
    • Aggravated Arson or Arson
    • Aggravated Kidnapping or Kidnapping
    • Aggravated Battery Resulting in Great Bodily Harm or Permanent Disability or Disfigurement and
    • Any other Felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

    If you have been convicted of any of the above “forcible felonies,” you must wait at least 20 years after release from prison, or your conviction if you were not sent to prison.

  • Federal Firearm Laws


    Illinois law specifically requires that, to restore your firearm rights, the restoration cannot be “contrary to federal law.” It’s important to understand why your firearms were taken away, and whether you may have an issue with federal firearm laws that would prevent you from restoring your firearm rights.

    The Gun Control Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, and includes any person:

    • who is a fugitive from justice
    • who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802)
    • who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution
    • who is an illegal alien
    • who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
    • who has renounced his or her United States citizenship
    • who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner
    • who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
    • Convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence offenses prevent firearm right restoration under federal law in most states; however, a conviction for domestic battery in Illinois does not necessarily prevent you from restoring your rights. The intersection between state and federal firearm law is a complex subject, but we’re happy to talk with you in more detail.

Legal Effects of Restoring Your Firearm Rights

If your petition for relief is granted by the court, your firearm rights will be restored, and the Illinois State Police must issue you a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). Having your FOID and Illinois firearm rights restored should also fully restore your federal firearm rights.

There are different ways to have your firearm rights restricted under federal or Illinois law. Not everybody with an Illinois juvenile conviction can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms. It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions.

Restoring firearm rights involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.

We Are Here to Help

Each of Illinois's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Illinois criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Illinois criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Illinois criminal record.