Sheriff Dart Announces Awareness Campaign on Firearm Restraining Orders

Feb 27, 2024Press Release

COOK COUNTY, IL –  Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is raising public awareness about an underutilized tool for the public that can remove firearms from individuals who pose an immediate and present danger to themselves or others.

“Undoubtably, there are people out there right now who know someone who is an immediate danger and has access to firearms. This law can help, but too few people know about it,” Sheriff Dart said. “We need to get the word out to residents that the firearm restraining order can be a critical part of protecting themselves and their families, particularly in a mental health or domestic situation.”

The Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the City of Chicago to run digital billboard awareness messages that direct individuals to the Sheriff’s Office website,, for more information on Firearm Restraining Orders.

The Firearm Restraining Order Act (FRO), also known as Illinois’ “Red Flag” law, allows police officers, family members, and household members to petition their local circuit court to remove firearms from those who are presently exhibiting threatening behavior and poses an immediate and present danger of causing injury. Members of the public can file petitions themselves or inquire with their local law enforcement agency for assistance.

Since the law went into effect in 2019, it has been little used, in part due to lack of awareness within both law enforcement and the public. To help with this issue, the Sheriff’s Office has hosted training sessions with scores of county law enforcement agencies. Since 2022, the Sheriff’s Office has filed more than a dozen FRO orders, leading to the removal of nearly 100 firearms. Meanwhile, the public awareness billboards are now visible on a rotating basis on approximately 57 billboard faces near Chicago expressways as well as on electronic street advertising spots downtown.

“This is a solution that is readily available right now. People can use this tool to stop gun violence,” Sheriff Dart said. “We will continue to do everything on our end to educate the public and work with agencies to spread the word. This can save lives.”