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Illinois State Police Issue Emergency Rule Governing Clear and Present Danger Reports

Education Higher Education

The Illinois State Police (“ISP”) has issued an emergency rule regarding the retention and use of reports made regarding individuals found to pose a “clear and present danger” under the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card Act and the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. The emergency rule requires the ISP to maintain records of clear and present danger reporting “in accordance with state and federal law,” and removes the language that it must only maintain records of those individuals determined to present a clear and present danger for the purpose of denying or revoking a FOID card and is prohibited from retaining records of those individuals not determined to pose a clear and present danger for such purposes. The new rule also revises the definition of “clear and present danger” that must be used by the ISP when reviewing reports made by law enforcement officials and school administrators regarding individuals found to pose a clear and present danger to align with the definition governing such reports. 

Under Illinois law, the principal (or designee) of a public K-12 school, as well as the chief administrative officer (or designee) of a private K-12 school or public or private college or university, must report to the ISP whenever it is determined that a student poses a clear and present danger to themselves or others. For purposes of such reports, “clear and present danger” is defined as “a person who demonstrates threatening physical or verbal behavior, such as violent, suicidal, or assaultive threats, actions, or other behavior, as determined by a physician, clinical psychologist, qualified examiner, school administrator, or law enforcement official.” Previously, the regulations required the ISP to use such reporting to identify individuals who “pose an actual, impending, or imminent threat of substantial bodily harm to themselves or another person that is articulable and significant or who will be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety or contrary to the public interest if they were granted access to a weapon.” When assessing such reports, ISP must now follow the same definition that law enforcement officials and school administrators use when making such reports.  

The emergency rule remains in effect for 150 days, however the ISP has communicated its intent to make the change permanent through the rulemaking process.  

For questions about school administrator requirements for making reports to the ISP regarding students determined to pose a clear and present danger, please contact the author of this alert or any Franczek attorney.