Gun Sense Progress
On the national stage, President Biden and Vice President Harris continue to address gun violence in the USA. You can read the most recent statement from the White House here.
There is also a movement to pass safe storage legislation on a national scale in order to better address children accessing guns and the tragedy of accidental shootings. You can read the piece of legislation here.
In June of 2021, the administration announced a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime and ensure public safety. You can read comments made by Attorney General Garland and President Biden here and view the fact sheet here. Among other issues, this strategy addresses the proliferation of "ghost guns". You can ask the ATF to regulate ghost guns by submitting a comment here.
There are a number of proposed bills in Springfield that deal with gun violence prevention. Three that we are watching are summarized below.
HB 2541: Toughens the Illinois Domestic Violence Act pertaining to the gun violence prevention aspects of Illinois Orders of Protection.
Amends the Domestic Violence Act of 1986. In cases in which a petitioner seeks a prohibition on firearm possession, removes a requirement that the respondent receive actual notice of and an opportunity to participate in a hearing. Provides that an order of protection shall include a remedy that prohibits a respondent from possessing any firearms for a minimum of 2 years (instead of for the duration of the order of protection). Provides that any Firearm Owner's Identification Card in the possession of the respondent shall be suspended and turned over to a law enforcement agency of the court's choosing (rather than a local law enforcement agency).
HB 3144: Toughens penalties against straw purchasers who repeatedly “lose” guns that show up later in guns crimes.
Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that the provision of the Code that makes it an offense for a person who possesses or acquires a firearm and thereafter loses the firearm, or if the firearm is stolen from the person, to fail to report the loss or theft to the local law enforcement agency within 72 hours after obtaining knowledge of the loss or theft is a Class 4 felony for a third offense (rather than a Class A misdemeanor) and a Class 3 felony for a fourth or subsequent offense. Effective immediately.
HB 4296: Limits places where concealed is permitted (excludes forest preserves, amusement parks and other high-traffic family friendly venues).
Amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Provides that a licensee under the Act shall not knowing carry a firearm into a campground, aquatic center, grounds of an aquatic center, boat launch, boating center, athletic venue, picnic grove, nature center, grounds of a nature center, pavilion, grounds of a pavilion, golf course, golf course parking lot, driving range, adventure course, grounds of an adventure course, zipline building, grounds of a zipline, equestrian center, grounds of an equestrian center, exercise venue, grounds of an exercise venue, any Illinois Nature Preserve, Land and Water Reserve, or any public or private gathering or special event conducted on property that requires the issuance of a permit under the control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District (rather than real property under the control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District). Provides that a licensee under the Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm in any public park, athletic area, or athletic facility under the control of a forest preserve district or any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a botanic garden.
Last year saw two gun violence prevention bills passed
HB1092 (HB3483 amended) strengthens our existing FRO (Firearm Restraining Order) law by ensuring that ammunition is also collected when a firearm is temporarily removed from a home and by allowing people with a child in common to be eligible to request a FRO even if they were not married. You can see a fact sheet for the bill here. You can also visit Speak For Safety Illinois to learn how to obtain a FRO.
HB562 will help to regulate gun ownership by instituting several measures including:
- Requires background checks on all gun sales, including between private individuals
- Records of gun sales must be stored with a federally licensed gun dealer for 20 years
- Provides $9 million of funding for mental health programs
- Removes firearms from individuals with revoked FOID cards that have not yet surrendered them
- Incentivizes fingerprinting for all FOID applicants
- Allows for a stolen firearms database
- Requires Illinois State Police to monitor state and federal databases for prohibited firearm purchasers and update the records with FOID card holders
- Improves processes to secure more funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
Sources: Whitehouse.gov, TheHill.com, GPAC Illinois, Everytown for Gun Safety, Denyse Stoneback, Representative, 16th District
People for a Safer Society is a gun violence prevention organization that was founded in early 2013, shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. The organization aims to educate people and raise awareness on gun violence.
The organization facilitates education, awareness and advocacy that can make a difference on local, state, and federal levels. In addition to pushing for common sense gun laws, People for a Safer Society informs communities about non-legislative solutions, such as divestment from gun manufacturers.
People for a Safer Society is based in Skokie, Illinois, and has engaged communities throughout the Chicagoland area.