HB2354SigningSPRINGFIELD – Family members and law enforcement officials concerned about disturbing or threatening behavior in an individual with access to a firearm now have the legal ability to act before tragedy occurs under legislation sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed into law today.

“In far too many of the mass shooting events that have taken place recently across our country, a family member identified threatening behavior in a loved one and didn’t know where to turn,” Morrison said. “In some cases, reports were made with law enforcement. But with no legal mechanism in place, there was no ability to step in before that individual caused tragedy.”

Morrison’s new law, which passed under House Bill 2354, would create the Firearms Restraining Order Act, allowing a family member or law enforcement official to alert the court system when an individual with access to a firearm is displaying threatening or unsafe behavior that could lead to injury to themselves or to the general public.

If a judge finds clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is a danger, the court can require firearms to be temporarily removed from the respondent’s possession.

The new law will also protect individuals contemplating suicide. The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence estimates 80 percent of individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions, often to family members.

“We cannot continue to sit idly by while Washington fails to act to protect our residents,” Morrison said. “This new law is part of a broader effort to ensure Illinois has comprehensive and reasonable gun safety laws on our books.”

House Bill 2354 goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

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