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  • koehler 041218PEORIA – A new state law that allows authorities to put temporary distance between potentially volatile people and their firearms contains checks to balance individual rights with public safety, State Senator Dave Koehler said today.

    The measure, known as a red-flag or lethal order of protection law, was signed Monday. It enables family members and police to alert a judge if they believe a person with access to a firearm could pose a danger to themselves or to the public. If the judge agrees, the court can require firearms to be temporarily removed from the person’s possession.

    It passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support.

    “This law is a preventative measure that balances the gun owner’s right to due process with the public’s right to be safe from violence,” said Koehler, a Peoria Democrat. “Illinois is empowering families to step in before a loved one causes suffering and destruction that can never be undone. It’s also acknowledging gun owners’ concerns by requiring a burden of evidence before firearms can be removed.”

    Under the new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019, a family member or law enforcement officer must present clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant personal or public danger by having access to a firearm.

    If a judge agrees, the court will issue a firearm restraining order that requires the person in question to temporarily relinquish his or her firearms and FOID card to law enforcement. The person also will be barred from purchasing or possessing additional firearms during the restraining period.

    Anyone who provides false information in seeking an order would be guilty of perjury.

    The legislation is House Bill 2354.

  • link 040618CHICAGO— America has the highest rate of gun violence of any developed nation and State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) is working to make Illinois a leader in changing that statistic.

    Link championed a measure that will empower families and law enforcement to take steps to protect their loved ones and the general public. The bipartisan measure, House Bill 2354, was signed into law on Monday and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

    “We need to put a stop to gun violence in our nation,” Link said. “This new law will empower families and law enforcement to prevent senseless tragedies.”

    The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act will allow a family member or a law enforcement officer to alert the courts that an individual with access to a firearm poses a significant danger of personal injury to themselves or others.

    If the court finds evidence to show the individual is indeed dangerous, a judge can require that person to temporarily turn over any firearms in their possession.

    “Instituting commonsense gun laws will help save lives,” Link said. “This new measure provides residents with a fair and responsible method to take action if they see alarming behavior.”

    Illinois’ law is modeled after a similar law in California that allows a court to intervene if it is found likely that a person may, in the near future, cause personal injury by owning a firearm.

    House Bill 2354 passed the Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

  • morrison 053018SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) passed an updated ‘Red Flag’ proposal out of the Senate today that would empower concerned family members or law enforcement officers to take action when a loved one with access to a firearm is exhibiting dangerous or threatening behavior.

    “In far too many mass shooting events, family members identified disturbing behavior in their loved ones and didn’t know where to turn,” Morrison said. “In some cases, when this behavior was reported, there was no legal mechanism to step in and prevent potential tragedy.”

  • morrison redflag ftr071618

    SPRINGFIELD – 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.