Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) signed two pieces of legislation earlier this week that will increase gun control measures in his state. The two laws, which were signed on Monday, extend the waiting period for firearms to 72 hours and allows family, friends and police officers to petition a court to remove weapons from someone who may pose a threat of violence.
“In the wake of gun violence tragedies, we hear again and again from friends and family members who saw warning signs but felt helpless because they couldn’t keep guns away from someone who was troubled or unstable,” said Rep. Kathleen Willis, a Chicago area Democrat who sponsored the firearms restraining order bill. “With this bipartisan law, Illinois families and law enforcement officers can seek a firearm restraining order if a person’s gun possession would pose significant danger to themselves or others.”
Known as a “red flag” law, Willis’ legislation will consider whether a person has made threats or committed violence against someone else or themselves, committed violent crimes, violated protective orders or engaged in a pattern of violent behavior. A judge can then issue a 14-day order to confiscate weapons, but a petitioner must prove “clear and convincing” evidence that the person in question is potentially dangerous and should have firearms taken from them for up to six months.
Gun advocates say the law could lead to discriminatory practices while infringing upon civil liberties.
Rauner’s second piece of legislation extends waiting periods for all firearms for up to 72 hours. Previously, buyers had to wait 72 hours for a handgun but could pick up a rifle or shotgun after 24 hours.
A third gun control measure could reach Rauner’s desk, but he said he plans to veto the proposal. The bill would create a state licensing system that would require firearms dealers to crack down on illegal gun sales. Lawmakers have not sent the proposal to him, but Rauner says it will hamstring the state’s small business community.
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