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Morrison passes updated ‘Red Flag’ proposal, creates Firearms Restraining Order Act

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’s legislation, contained in 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.

“From the killing of six people in Isla Vista, California in 2014 to the killing of 17 students and administrators in Parkland, Florida, just three months ago, we have seen time and time again situations where dangerous behavior is reported and nothing happens,” said Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICAHV).

The ICAHV estimates 80 percent of individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions, while more than half of mass shooters in the last 20 years were reported as displaying signs of dangerous behavior prior to the killings.

Morrison’s plan 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.

Morrison passed a similar proposal in February that was sent to the House and never called for a vote.

House Bill 2354 passed today on a bipartisan 43-11 vote and will now head to the governor for his signature.

Sen. Julie Morrison

morrison 150

29th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Human Services (Vice-Chairperson); Education; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development; Transportation.

Biography: Born in Beardstown; received a bachelor's degree from Knox College; served as supervisor of West Deerfield Township, married to husband Joe with three grown children.

Associated Representative(s): Elaine Nekritz, Scott Drury