Illinois legislators OK ‘red flag’ law; goal is to prevent gun deaths

Illinois legislators approved a bill in May that would allow family members or law enforcement officers to take action when an individual with access to a firearm is exhibiting dangerous or threatening behavior. HB 2354, known as a “red flag” law, was awaiting gubernatorial action as of mid-June. It would allow judges to issue a “firearms restraining order” (in effect for six months) if they find clear and convincing evidence that an individual “poses a significant danger of personal injury to himself, herself or another.”

Indiana has had a different version of this type of law since 2005. In that state, if a police officer believes an individual should not have a firearm, the officer can present a sworn affidavit to a judge detailing why the person is dangerous. Police also can take firearms without a warrant if an officer later obtains judicial consent.

Many U.S. state legislatures have been considering the adoption of these laws since the death of 17 people from a shooting this February at a Florida high school. In Illinois, on the same day they passed the “red flag” legislation, lawmakers also sent SB 337 to the governor’s desk. That measure seeks to regulate gun dealers and better track private gun sales.
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Stateline Midwest: June/July 20182.11 MB