Gov. Rauner signs emergency “red flag” gun law

7/16/2018, 5 p.m.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed two bills into law that could help prevent people who are a threat to themselves or ...

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed two bills into law that could help prevent people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing or purchasing guns. The bills, which have bipartisan and bicameral support, are part of the comprehensive public safety plan that the governor unveiled earlier this year.

Rauner’s signature on HB 2354 enacts “red flag” legislation giving courts authority to use emergency civil restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals; and with the signing of SB 3256, the 72-hour waiting period for handguns delivery is extended to all guns purchased in Illinois.

At the press conference announcing the bill actions, Rauner urged legislators to get to work on other public the ability to hire more resource officers and mental health workers, a point he will make at an event in Dixon later today where he will meet with local law enforcement officials and School Resource Officer Mark Dallas, the Dixon officer who was hailed a hero after he stopped a school shooting there in May.

He also used the press conference to make it clear that he will veto dealer licensing legislation (SB 337) if and when it is sent to his desk.

Bipartisan support for emergency restraining orders

“Everyone agrees that we need to keep firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to commit acts of violence against themselves or others,” said Rauner.

“These two laws are a commonsense approach that gives us tools to limit access to guns and perhaps save lives while we continue to respect Constitutional rights.”

The new “red flag” law means the courts can prevent possession or purchase of firearms in emergency situations where there is imminent danger of gun 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. With this law, families and law enforcement can seek emergency restraining orders if a person’s gun possession would pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Signing this bill will save lives,” said Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, co-sponsor of HB 2354.

“Acts of senseless violence in schools, churches or other public places are all too often committed by individuals who have shown signs that they are mentally unstable

and interested in causing harm to themselves or others,” said State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard. “This tightly worded legislation puts critical protections in place to help curb mass shootings by disturbed individuals who should not have access to guns. It’s an excellent example of how we can produce good legislation when politics is set aside, and Republicans and Democrats work together.”

“The legislation signed into law today addresses the growing problem of unstable people using guns to cause harm, while also protecting gun owners’ rights,” said Rep. Steve Reick, R-Woodstock, also a chief co sponsor. “The firearms restraining order bill that was sent to us by the Senate represented an extreme overreach into the civil liberties and Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. It also lacked adequate due process for the individuals from whom firearms would be removed.”