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FOID card revocation for seeking voluntary help for postpartum depression? Appears so

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

This is the story of “Lisa” from late June of 2020. Lisa went through a traumatic childbirth which resulted in her not being to hold her child after discharge or breastfeed (she was put on strict restriction). This caused her to be depressed, as she was unable to do things most new mothers do. One day in July 2020 during all of this, she was having unnatural thoughts of harming herself, as the depression of her situation took over. She recognized this (she has a background in psychology and a PEL license through the state of IL) and immediately sought help voluntarily. She went to a local clinic, to which they referred her to an inpatient psych center for further evaluation. She arrived there in the evening, after the staff psychiatrist had left.

The next day she had a meeting with the staff psychiatrist. The result? Her thinking was clear (likely to do with her background and noticing the signs). She was deemed not a threat to herself or others and was discharged. All of this was within 24 hours and again, all voluntary. The depression resolved itself and there were no others instances.

In June of 2022, Lisa was contacted by the Illinois State Police. The reason? Due to seeking help in 2020 for postpartum depression, she is ordered to surrender her FOID card. Her right to own a firearm is effectively cancelled. The likely reason it apparently took so long to have the state police reach her to revoke her FOID is because they moved in 2016 and she didn’t update her FOID card address, as she herself has never purchased a firearm yet, so it wasn‘t on her immediate “to do” list as a new mother of a second child. She is scheduled to meet with a state trooper to surrender her right to own a gun in Illinois on 6/30/22. This is also going to cause a hassle, as meeting with the trooper over this mess is going to interfere with the birthday party of her child (which triggered this mess with the Illinois State Police).

This situation brings up a lot of questions, as it’s clear what is happening. Someone that sought voluntary help for brief period of postpartum depression is being target 2 years later well after the instance is no longer an issue. The psychiatrist even discharged her because she was deemed safe to herself and others and not a threat. Should women seeking post-pregnancy help just ignore their thoughts because they’ll be punished by the state for them? Do people deemed not a threat to themselves by a professional lose their rights anyways? Should people having a brief mental health crisis just ignore it because they’re going to be reported to the state and get screwed and instead suffer through it and hope for the best? Is what the state is doing even legal?

“Lisa“ and her husband have contacted the Firearms Policy Coalition to see what their options are, but as it stands now, as of June 30, Lisa will be a prohibited person in her state of residence, Illinois.

If you are suffering from a mental health crisis, particularly postpartum and you think you need help, here are some resources:

Emergency support:

Hold My Guns:

Walk The Talk:

Postpartum depression is also very common amongst adult women.

EDIT: people are questioning that this couldn’t happen. It did. Under IL law as of 2013, voluntarily admitting yourself to a psych unit, even if you are immediately deemed safe and discharged within a day, your gun rights are gone until further notice and after asking “permission” again to the state police. Basically, if you try and get help, you’re screwed and you lose your rights, even if you are deemed safe and not at risk to harm yourself or others (a temporary situation that can resolve itself quickly). Even 2 years after the fact apparently after everything has resolved, such as the case above.

Here‘s current federal law:

Therefor, especially after the NYSRPA decision, there is solid grounds for litigation.

EDIT 2: “Lisa” met with the state police today. State police provided a revocation letter from 2020 and a receipt from her handing in her FOID card today.


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