Mr. Russell has helped Illinois residents obtain their Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Cards if they are denied a FOID card because of a Felony Criminal History.

Illinois law provides that no person may acquire or possess any firearm or ammunition without a valid FOID Card.  Section 8c of the FOID Act provides that anyone convicted of a felony in Illinois or in any other jurisdiction must have their FOID Card revoked, or cannot obtain a FOID Card in the first place.

Illinois is unique in providing convicted felons a chance for relief from this firearms ban.  Under Section 10 of the FOID Act, if a convicted felon can prove the following four things, then that person qualifies for a FOID Card:

  1. That they have been felony conviction free for over twenty years;
  2. That the circumstances regarding their past criminal history and reputation are such that they will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety;
  3. That granting relief would not be contrary to the public interest; and
  4. That granting relief would not be contrary to federal law.   

Depending on the nature of the felony conviction, the applicant can seek relief through administrative review with the State Police or file a Petition in the circuit court in the County where they live.

(For specific information on Firearms regulation in Illinois and Indiana, please see our Firearms Rights Resource Page).

My early ventures into this area of practice became famous through the First District Appellate Court case of In re Petition of McPherson, and a news article in which I was interviewed about that case, published here.

Because of this publicity, I am often inundated with requests for information about how to restore a former felon’s firearm rights.  In order to help streamline the process, IF YOU ARE SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT FIREARMS RIGHTS RESTORATION and you want my help, you must follow these instructions:

1.  You must fill out and submit the questionnaire on this page. (I will no longer respond to telephone requests or direct e-mails regarding questions relating to obtaining FOID Cards or restoring Firearms rights). Also, please make sure you have gone over and thoroughly read the explanation on this page of how this process works. If it’s apparent that you don’t fit into the four criteria explained above, then don’t waste your time. I field numerous requests from people who live in states where I am not licensed (and therefore cannot give them legal advice). The bottom line is this: If you do not live in Illinois, or you are not seeking relief from a felony conviction issued by a circuit court in Illinois, I probably will not be able to help you. I will consider residents of Indiana in certain cases. While licensed in Michigan, my practice in that jurisdiction is limited to real estate, estate planning and probate, and employment law.

2.  You will be contacted by e-mail if your situation is determined to have potential.  At that point, you will be asked to either make an appointment at my office or schedule a telephone interview.  Consultations will be paid for in advance (rates very depending on time needed and complexity of the situation).

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