Concerns raised about recently signed gun laws

Legislation (House Bill 2354) signed into law during the week will allow family members or law enforcement to petition the court to have firearms removed from individuals believed to be a danger to themselves or others,. Another measure (Senate Bill 3256) was signed to extend the current 72-hour waiting period for handguns to include all guns purchased in Illinois. 

Though expressing appreciation for the intent to improve public safety, opponents underscored concerns with House Bill 2354, citing the overly broad language that allows for third-party allegations that could strip someone of their Second Amendment rights based on very little real evidence. Concerns were also raised there is very limited due process allowed for a respondent in the new law. 

Opponents stressed that when considering legislation that would infringe on a Constitutionally-guaranteed right, the scope of the measure should be as limited, necessary and as precise as possible. 

Additionally, those challenging Senate Bill 3256 said the law undermines individuals’ Second Amendment rights, but doesn’t address the root problem of gun violence. Opponents said there must be a balance to work in the interest of public safety while also protecting gun owners. They advocated instead for legislation that holds criminals accountable for the actions and does more to help those suffering from mental illness. 

The new laws take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Chapin Rose

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