Illinois State Police release process information regarding clear and present danger in Highland Park shooting

CHICAGO, IL-(Radio Effingham)- In the ongoing investigation into the shooting in Highland Park on July 4, 2022, Illinois State Police (ISP) continue to provide information to the public.

Clear and Present Danger Reports were established by Illinois law in 1990 and gradually expanded to include school administrators and law enforcement. This law is separate from the Gun Ban Ordinance which became law in 2019. Clear and Present Danger is a mechanism used by the ISP to revoke or deny a gun owner identification card (FID). On the other hand, firearms restriction order is a court-ordered restriction on possession of firearms. Clear and present danger status is just one of many factors that can lead to the revocation and denial of a FOID card. Other factors may include criminal records, mental health bans, and other protective orders.

Upon receipt of a clear and present danger report submitted to the ISP, officers determine if the subject of the report has a pending FOID card or FOID request and review all information submitted by the local police department.

For a clear and present danger determination, the legal standard of review that the ISP must meet is a preponderance of the evidence, which places a higher legal burden than probable cause. The granting of a firearms prohibition order has an even greater burden of proof requiring “clear and convincing” evidence.

If the reviewing officer determines that there is sufficient evidence to establish a clear and present danger posed by the subject of the report, the subject’s FOID is revoked or a pending FOID request is denied. If there is insufficient evidence, the status of the FOID or the pending request is not affected.

For the individual charged in the September 2019 Highland Park shooting, ISP officers confirmed that the individual did not have a FOID card or a pending claim. According to the report submitted, the threat of violence allegedly made by the individual was reported second-hand to Highland Park Police. When the police attended the home, the individual and his mother disputed the threat of violence. The individual told police he had no desire to harm himself or others and was offered mental health resources. Additionally, the report stated that the knives did not belong to the individual and were eventually given to the father who claimed they were his. As Highland Park Police said, there was no probable cause for arrest. After reviewing the report at that time, the reviewing officer concluded that there was insufficient information to determine a clear and present danger.

In December 2019, the person applied for a FOID card. The application included an Affidavit of Legal Guardian signed by the applicant’s father.

Illinois law states that the Illinois State Police must issue a FOID card to an applicant who meets the legal requirements and does not have a firearms ban. At the time of the approval of the FOID application for the individual in question, there was no new information to establish a clear and present danger, no arrests, no prohibited criminal records, no mental health prohibitions, no restraining orders. protection, no other disqualifying prohibitions and no firearm restraining orders. The evidence available would have been insufficient for law enforcement to seek a firearms prohibition order from a court.