Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S07-01-04
Firearms Taken Into Custody or Turned In
Issue Date:01 October 2015Effective Date:01 October 2015
Rescinds:16 January 2015 Version
Index Category:Processing Property
I.Purpose
This directive continues procedures for:
  • A.inventorying and processing firearms or related items, such as ammunition, recovered, taken into custody, or turned in by community members.
  • B.disposing of firearms that are in Department custody.
II.Policy
  • A.The Department will seize illegal firearms and illegally possessed firearms as permitted by law.
  • B.Firearms and/or property directly related to a firearm (including but not limited to ammunition, expended shell casings, magazines, and holsters) that require fingerprint or DNA processing will not be touched, handled, or removed by any members other than Forensic Services Division personnel unless exigent circumstances requiring immediate removal exists.
  • C.Seized firearms that are found to be lost or stolen will be returned to the owner if the owner is legally permitted to own the firearm.
  • D.Firearms will not be turned over to anyone who cannot legally possess a firearm unless otherwise ordered by a court.
  • E.Firearms turned in at Department-organized weapon turn in events will be processed as required by Department directives and notices issued for that event.
  • F.All firearms and/or property directly related to a firearm (including but not limited to ammunition, expended shell casings, magazines, and holsters) coming into Department custody will be:
    • 1.checked through the Records Inquiry Section to determine whether the firearm has been reported lost or stolen, and
    • 2.processed through the Forensics Services Division or as described in Department directives and notices issued for organized weapon turn in events.
  • G.Forensic Services Division personnel will determine the proper processing method after considering the nature of the incident that resulted in the seizure of a firearm.
  • H.Firearms will only be returned to individuals consistent with the policy and procedures described in this directive and in applicable law. Firearms will only be returned to owners at the Evidence and Recovered Property Section (ERPS). Inventoried firearms will not be returned to owners at district stations.
III.Procedures
  • A.Any department member who recovers or takes into custody a firearm and/or property directly related to a firearm will:
    • 1.ensure that the firearm is unloaded while wearing fresh rubber gloves, unless exigent circumstances exist. If unable to unload the firearm, the recovering officer will transport it directly to the Forensic Services Division.
      NOTE:
      Before transporting the loaded firearm to the Forensic Services Division, the recovering officer will create an inventory and manifest. The member will then hand carry the loaded firearm to the Forensic Services Division.
    • 2.wear fresh rubber gloves for each firearm, live ammunition, and expended shell casings, as well as magazines, clips, and holsters associated with the firearm and place in a Firearm Evidence Envelope. If a member is unable to place the firearm into a Firearm Evidence Envelope (i.e. rifle or long gun), the member will attached the Firearm Evidence Envelope directly to the the firearm.
      EXCEPTION:
      Firearms inventoried as a result of an arrest of a concealed carry licensee for an offense not related to the firearm and firearms inventoried for safe keeping due to a non-criminal incident such as a medical emergency will be secured in a Personal Property Envelope (CPD-11.500) rather than a Firearms Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.404).
      NOTE:
      Rubber gloves and Firearm Evidence Envelopes are contained within the Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kit. These kits will be carried in the trunk of field supervisors' vehicles.
      NOTE:
      Magazines, clips, ammunition, expended shell casings, and holsters NOT associated with a firearm will be transported by police mail to the CPD Firearms Laboratory Unit 177.
    • 3.inventory each firearm, the magazine or clip in the firearm, the ammunition in the firearm, and any holster that the firearm is in at the time of the recovery under the same inventory number.
    • 4.if there are multiple firearms recovered or taken into custody, complete a separate inventory for each firearm.
    • 5.inventory any other items recovered or taken into custody separately from each firearm (ammunition not in the firearm, holsters recovered that do not contain a firearm at the time of recovery, etc.) under a separate inventory number. Place individual ammunition or shell casings (those not contained within an ammunition box) within a small Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.101) with the fold of the envelope signed and sealed with transparent tape. These items will then be forwarded to the Forensic Services Division.
      NOTE:
      Particular care should be exercised in protecting fired bullets and expended shell casings to preserve their identifiable characteristics.
    • 6.call the Records Inquiry Section to determine if the firearm has been reported lost or stolen. The officer will document the results of the gun check on the case or supplementary report and in the eTrack comments section.
    • 7.if a recovered or taken into custody firearm has been reported lost or stolen, notify the appropriate Bureau of Detectives Violent Crimes or Property Crimes Section.
      NOTE:
      The detective assigned to conduct a follow-up investigation of the recovery of a lost or stolen firearm has the responsibility to notify the verified owner of the proper procedures to be taken to procure the return of the property (provided the owner is qualified to be a firearm owner).
    • 8.in the eTrack description field, describe the firearm in sequence as follows:
      • a.Manufacturer's name
      • b.Model name and/or number
      • c.Serial number (including any prefix or suffix)
      • d.Caliber or gauge
      • e.Type (revolver, semiautomatic pistol, rifle, shotgun, etc.)
      • f.Approximate barrel length (from breach to muzzle)
      • g.Finish (nickel, blue, chrome, etc.)
      • h.Country of Origin
      • i.Importer
    • 9.package the firearm securely as required by the Department directive, "Processing Property Under Departmental Control."
    • 10.ensure a copy of the case or supplementary report is attached to the firearm envelope.
  • B.Firearms Inventoried as Evidence
    • 1.Recovered Firearms that require fingerprint or DNA processing will not be touched, handled, or removed by any members on the scene other than Forensic Services Division personnel. If exigent circumstances requiring immediate removal of the firearm exist, the recovering officer will handle and secure the firearm in a manner that minimizes the risk of spoiling or degrading the evidence, then give the firearm to Forensic Services Division personnel. The exigent circumstance requiring immediate removal will be documented in the appropriate case report.
      EXCEPTION:
      If a member of the Forensic Services Division is not available, the recovering member, with approval of the appropriate supervisor, will process and inventory the firearm as outlined in III-A of this directive.
    • 2.If a firearm is discovered and there is indication of other criminal activity associated with the firearm, follow the procedures described in the General Order entitled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing."
    • 3.If a member has recovered a firearm and it is then determined that fingerprint or DNA evidence processing is required, the recovering officer will request an evidence technician to respond to collect the firearm and transport it to the Forensic Services Division.
      EXCEPTION:
      If a member of the Forensic Services Division is not available, the recovering member, with approval of the appropriate supervisor, will process and inventory the firearm as outlined in III-A of this directive.
    • 4.If a firearm is recovered pursuant to an arrest for a UUW violation, Department members will complete a CLEAR Firearm (CAGE) Report as described in the General Order entitled "Gang Violence Reduction Strategy."
  • C.Firearms Inventoried as Prisoner Property
    • 1.Firearms inventoried as a result of an arrest of a concealed carry licensee for an offense not related to the firearm and firearms inventoried for safe keeping due to a non-criminal incident such as a medical emergency will be secured in a Personal Property Envelope (CPD-11.500) rather than a Firearms Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.404).
    • 2.Firearms inventoried as Prisoner Property will be designated as "Pick-up Pursuant to Notice of Inventory Return Policy" in eTrack.
    • 3.Prisoner Property firearms will be transported to Forensic Services Division with evidentiary firearms.
    • 4.Firearms inventoried as Prisoner Property will not be returned to the owner at the district station. All firearms must be recovered by the owner at the Evidence and Recovered Property Section.
  • D.Firearms Turned In by Community Members Other Than at Organized Events
    A Department member processing a firearm turned in by a community member will:
    • 1.prepare the appropriate case report, and
      NOTE:
      If the person submitting the firearm or related property refuses to disclose any information regarding the property, document this fact in the narrative portion of the report.
    • 2.inventory the firearm consistent with the procedures described in Item III-A of this directive indicating:
      • 1.UCR code 5072 (noncriminal weapon turn-in), and
      • 2.action to be taken: "To Be Disposed of By Custodian.
  • E.Bureau of Patrol Responsibilities
    • 1.Monday through Friday the 2nd watch District Station Supervisors will designate a unit to create a manifest and deliver all firearms, live ammunition, and expended shell casings, as well as magazines, clips, and holsters associated with a firearm or ammunition to the forensic laboratory at 3340 W. Fillmore between the hours of 0600-0800.
      NOTE:
      Magazines, clips, ammunition, expended shell casings, and holsters NOT associated with a firearm will be transported by police mail to the CPD Firearms Laboratory Unit 177.
    • 2.The designated unit will create a manifest in the e-track system following these steps:
      • a.select "create manifest,"
      • b.input the originating unit and destination unit (177 - Forensic Firearm),
      • c.select "next" and begin entering inventory numbers and adding them until complete,
      • d.submit the manifest to the District Station Supervisor for approval, and;
      • e.print approved manifest.
    • 3.The designated unit will deliver the approved manifest and associated inventories to the forensic laboratory at 3340 W. Fillmore between the hours of 0600-0800. Members must check in at the guard shack located on the Fillmore side of the building before entry.
IV.Returning Firearms to Owners
  • A.Three methods are authorized to ensure the return of the firearm to the owner:
    • 1.By order of court in accordance with the provisions of the Department directive entitled "Processing Property Under Department Control."
      NOTE:
      When a department member appears in court on a case in which a firearm was inventoried as evidence, the department member should, with the assistance of the prosecutor, request a court order to address the disposition of the firearm (i.e., return to owner, destroyed).
    • 2.When it is determined that the firearm or related property is no longer needed for evidence or further investigation and a court order cannot be obtained by the recovering or investigating officer, by releasing property at ERPS through the eTrack Property Release.
      NOTE:
      The eTrack Property Release must be approved by a sworn exempt member in accordance with section IV-B of this directive.
    • 3.When the firearm is inventoried as Prisoner Property by the procedures established by the Commander of ERPS.
  • B.A sworn exempt member may authorize the return of a firearm to the owner after ensuring that an eTrack Property Release has been prepared and all of the following conditions are fulfilled:
    • 1.That an Illinois resident to whom he is returning a firearm has in his possession a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or a valid Concealed Carry License (CCL) card, or proof of his exempt status under the FOID Card Act.
      • a.On the eTrack Turnover Information Screen, the owner's FOID card number or CCL card number will be entered in the "Turnover Comment" field after the notation "FOID # or "CCL #".
      • b.If the person to whom the weapon is being returned is exempt, enter "FOID Exempt" in the "Turnover Comment" field.
    • 2.That a non-Illinois resident to whom he is returning a weapon has satisfactory proof of such non-residency. In such case, the word "non-resident" will be entered in the "Turnover Comment" field.
    • 3.The firearm is not contraband.
    • 4.The firearm has been cleared by the Forensic Services Division and the Records Inquiry Section.
    • 5.A court of law is not expected to determine the disposition of the firearm or have a court order releasing the firearm to the owner or other authorized person.
    • 6.A name check is made of the owner to determine if there are any outstanding warrants, orders of protection, or criminal history which would preclude the individual from legally possessing a firearm.
  • C.Resident owners MUST present their Illinois Firearm Owners Identification or CCL card when claiming their weapon at ERPS unless they are exempt from the Firearm Owners Identification card requirement.
  • D.Firearms may be picked up by owners Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, between 0800 and 1500 hours.
    NOTE:
    Members may contact  ERPS Monday through Friday, between 0600 and 2200 hours with questions regarding the return of firearms to owners. For inquires outside these days and times members may contact CPIC.
V.Checking Out Firearms for Court
Members will check out firearms for court consistent with the procedures for signing out property for court described in the Special Order entitled "Processing Property Under Department Control."
NOTE:
The Court Copy of the inventory for the firearm will suffice as evidence for court unless the state's attorney indicates otherwise.
VI.Disposal of Firearms
Firearms to be disposed of will be done so in a manner consistent with the Municipal Code of Chicago and protocols established by the Commander of ERPS.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised.)
Authenticated by: KC
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
15-143 CAW
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Evidence & Recovered Property Section - Service Counter
PAX 4289
24 Hours
GLOSSARY TERMS:
1. -
Any device, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas; excluding however:
  • A.Any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second; or
  • B.any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors; or
  • C.Any device used exclusively for signaling or safety and required or recommended by the United States Coast Guard or the Interstate Commerce Commission; or
  • D.Any device used exclusively for the firing of stud cartridges, explosive rivets or similar industrial ammunition; and
  • E.An "antique firearm" which has the same meaning ascribed to that term in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(16):
    • 1.any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or
    • 2.any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica:
      • a.is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or
      • b.uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
    • 3.any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.
    NOTE:
    Guns, devices, and firearms which qualify as exceptions to the definition of a firearm may also be processed in accordance with the applicable provisions of this directive when necessitated by existing conditions (e.g., victims shot by antique firearm).