Legislation that Removes Firearms from Individuals who Pose an Immediate Threat Receives Broad Bipartisan Support in IL House

By a vote of 80-32-1, the House of Representatives today struck a balance between Second Amendment rights and improved public safety by approving a method by which family members or law enforcement can seek an emergency firearms restraining order to remove firearms from individuals posing an immediate threat to themselves and/or others.

“Lawmakers can no longer stand on the sidelines as instances of mass gun violence continue to occur in our schools and other open spaces,” said State Representative David S. Olsen, a co-sponsor of the bill. “We have a duty to do whatever we can to protect or children and other citizens from senseless gun violence, and I believe HB 2354 achieves the proper balance between Second Amendment rights for lawful citizens, and our need to respond to mass gun violence tragedies.”

Through HB 2354, family members or law enforcement who petition for an emergency order must show that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing harm to themselves or others. If probable cause is established through a court hearing, the judge will enter an order that will allow the Illinois State Police (ISP) to suspend or revoke the Firearms Owner Identification card of the respondent and, if necessary, issuing a search warrant to remove any firearms from the person’s residence.

The respondent must be given a full hearing within 14 days, where it must be proven by strict clear and convincing evidence that the person is dangerous. If so, the emergency order is extended to a six-month order, which may be renewed on continued proof of danger. But if the allegations are not proven at the full hearing, the record of the case is expunged, so as not to do any harm to an innocent respondent. Strict penalties for perjury would also apply to those who would falsely swear out a petition for a firearms restraining order.

“I applaud the bipartisanship that was shown as this bill was negotiated and believe the end result could become a national model for sensible gun reform as it relates to mental health,” said Olsen. “I was proud to support the bill.”

HB 2354 now moves back to the Senate for reconsideration. If approved, it will be sent to the Governor for final action.

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