Can You Own a Gun if You Expunge Your Record in Illinois?

If you’re like many people, you’ve been thinking a lot about self-defense lately – but can you own a gun if you expunge your record in Illinois? Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Own a Gun if You Expunge Your Record in Illinois?

Criminal record expungement essentially erases your record. It literally disappears, because when a judge agrees to your expungement petition, the agencies that have copies of your record must destroy them or return them to you. With a clear criminal record, you’re eligible to apply for an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card, or FOID card. With a valid FOID card, you are legally allowed to purchase a firearm in the state of Illinois.

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What Most People Don’t Know About Criminal Records in Illinois

Most people don’t realize this, but every time the police arrest someone or start a case against someone, they create a criminal record. That record stays there even if the arrest leads nowhere; that means if you were arrested but never charged, you still have a criminal record. Even if you went to trial and the court found you not guilty, you have a criminal record. Your record will show up in criminal background checks, which means it can haunt you for decades after the incident occurred.

However, if your arrest never led to charges or you were found not guilty, you may be eligible for criminal record expungement.

You can’t get a gun in Illinois if you’ve been convicted of a felony. A small number of people are eligible for felony record expungement, though, so it’s a good idea to talk to a Chicago expungement attorney about your situation if you think you might be eligible.

Related: Do I have a criminal record if my case was dismissed?

Can You Own a Gun if You Expunge Your Record in Illinois - Chicago Expungement Lawyer

Requirements for Getting a Gun in Illinois

Many people want to buy a gun for self-defense and home protection – especially now, in these uncertain times. In order to do that, you must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which shows gun shop owners and workers that the state has cleared you to purchase a firearm.

If you want a FOID, you must certify the following statements:

  • I have not been convicted of any Felony under the laws of this or any other jurisdiction.
  • I have not been adjudicated as a mental defective.
  • I have not been a patient in a mental institution or any part of a medical facility for the treatment of mental illness within the past 5 years.
  • I am not intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled.
  • I have not within the past year (preceding the date of this application) used or been addicted to any controlled substance or narcotics in violation of state or federal law.
  • I am not subject of an existing Order of Protection or a No Contact/No Stalking Order.
  • I have not within the past 5 years been convicted of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in which a firearm was used or possessed.
  • I have not been convicted of domestic battery (felony or misdemeanor), aggravated domestic battery or a substantially similar offense.
  • I have not been adjudicated by a court as a mental defective or ordered by a court, board or authorized entity to in-patient or out-patient mental health treatment.
  • I am not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.
  • I have not within the past year failed a drug test for a drug for which I did not have a prescription.
  • I have not been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • I have never renounced my citizenship as a citizen of the United States.
  • I have never been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
  • I am not a fugitive from justice.

Related: Who can get a criminal record expunged in Illinois?

What About Veterans, Felony Convictions and Expungement?

If you’re an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be eligible to expunge certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies from your record. If you expunge those records, you will be able to apply for a FOID.

Related: Military criminal record expungement

Criminal Record Sealing

Criminal record sealing is the alternative to expungement. It’s similar to expungement because if your record is sealed, most people will never know about it. (Law enforcement, some employers and court officials will still be able to see your record, though.)

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Expunging Your Record So You Can Buy a Gun in Illinois?

We may be able to help you expunge your record, so call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below for a free case review. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your situation and answer your questions.