Can I ever shoot a firearm or get a FOID card if I am a felon?
I have a total of 4 felonies in 2 separate cases. In 1994 I was convicted of burglary and criminal damage to property. In 1997 I was convicted of possession w/intent marijuana and possession of mushrooms. Can I ever get FOID card in Illinois? If so, what steps should I take to do so?
As long as you have a felony record, you aren't qualified for a FOID in Illinois. If you were actually convicted of any of the felonies, particularly the burglary and criminal damage to property, and those convictions were in Illinois, they aren't subject to sealing or expungement, which means you have those convictions on your record for life.
If your conviction or convictions are from other states, the law of the state where you were convicted is what determines whether your record can be expunged or not. With your record, I'm afraid I can't hold out much hope here.
Pursuant to federal law, a felon cannot own a "firearm". But while felons cannot own guns, an "ex-felon" can. An individual can become an ex-felon in one of two ways: having the conviction vacated (overturned) by a court, or obtaining a pardon from either the governor (state offenses) or the president (federal offenses). In either of those circumstances, gun ownership rights can be restored.
In some states a felony conviction can be "expunged"; that is while the conviction is not overturned it is cleared from your record. However, state expungement or "restoration of rights", does not change federal law. Insofar as federal law is concerned, a state expungement or other restoration of rights, is insufficient for purposes of possessing a firearm.