One of 2018’s hottest political debates has centered around the question, “How do we reduce gun crimes and shooting deaths in the U.S.?” The topic initially rose to the top of legislative agendas in response to the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 students and teachers.
This was followed by a report that in the first 21 weeks of 2018, there were 23 school shootings across the U.S. where at least one person was hurt or killed. Although none of those shootings happened in Illinois, state legislators nonetheless took up the cause quickly.
In July 2018, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed two new gun laws that will go into effect in January 2019.
Passed: Emergency Firearms Restraining Orders
The first law (PA 100-0607, formerly HB 2354) allows police or family members to petition the local court for a “firearms restraining order” against a named individual (the “respondent”) who poses an immediate threat of violence. In response, a judge can immediately issue an emergency firearms restraining order which prohibits the respondent from possessing or purchasing firearms. If the petition indicates that the respondent already possesses firearms, the judge can also issue a warrant directing law enforcement to search for and seize those firearms. The respondent must also turn over any FOID card and concealed carry license in their possession.
The emergency restraining order is valid for 14 days. After that, if the petitioner can show that the respondent remains dangerous, the judge can issue a six-month firearms restraining order.
Passed: Extended Waiting Period for Gun Purchases
The second law (PA 100-0606, formerly SB 3256) standardizes the waiting period for all newly purchased guns at 72 hours (three days). Previously, a buyer only had to wait 24 hours for delivery of a newly purchased rifle or shotgun and 72 hours for a handgun.
A Will County Lawyer Who Will Defend Your Firearms Rights
A misunderstanding of Illinois’ complex firearms laws can lead to misdemeanor criminal charges such as a FOID card violation or to more serious felony charges for unlawful possession of a weapon. And now, beginning in 2019, Illinois gun owners will be subject to the two new laws described above.
If the police try to question you about any weapons-related incidents, you should speak to an attorney first. An experienced Joliet gun and weapons charges defense attorney will make sure your rights are not violated and provide an aggressive defense against any charges. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation.