By Attorney Jeffrey R. Hall, for Hall & Rustom, LLC

Yes. You can.  If you know or have reason to believe that your child (under the age of 14) who does not possess a valid FOID card is likely to gain access to the firearm without lawful permission, and that child causes death or great bodily harm with the firearm, you will likely be held liable.  There are exceptions in the law.  Below is the statute:
Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/24-9) states “(a) Except as provided in subsection (c), it is unlawful for any person to store or leave, within premises under his or her control, a firearm if the person knows or has reason to believe that a minor under the age of 14 years who does not have a Firearm Owners Identification Card is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, and the minor causes death or great bodily harm with the firearm, unless the firearm is:
  1. Secured by a device or mechanism, other than the firearm safety, designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable; or
  2. Placed in a securely locked box or container; or
  3. Placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor under the age of 14 years. 
A person who violates this Section is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $1,000. 
A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.
There is an additional exception to this law.  If the minor under 14 years of age gains access to a firearm and uses it in a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another; or
To any firearm obtained by a minor under the age of 14 because of an unlawful entry of the premises by the minor or another person, then the law does not apply. 

Owners of firearms should take extra precautions when storing their weapon when children are in the home or the owner has reason to believe a child could access the area where the firearm is stored.

If you have further questions, please visit our website at and complete our online submission form. Or, you can call our office at 309-699-4691 or email us at


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The attorneys at Hall & Rustom LLC represent clients throughout the entire state of Illinois, including, but not limited to, the cities of Peoria, Morton, Washington, Pekin, Eureka, East Peoria, Dunlap, Metamora, Bartonville, Bloomington, Normal and any legal matter located in Peoria County, Tazewell County, Woodford County, Marshall County, Stark County, Henry County, Knox County and McLean County.

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Article Author: Jeffrey R. Hall

Jeff Hall is managing partner at Hall & Rustom, LLC and concentrates his law practice in Criminal Law, DUI & Traffic law, driver’s license reinstatement hearings and criminal record expungements.

If you have a legal question, email Jeff Hall.