(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed House Bill 1092, a measure that aims to strengthen the existing Firearms Restraining Order Act in Illinois.
Under the Firearms Restraining Order Act family members, co-parents or law enforcement may obtain an order to temporarily remove firearms from people who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.
State Rep. Denyse Stoneback, D-Skokie, who was the main sponsor of the legislation, said the law will protect people from gun violence.
"This measure is intended to prevent gun tragedies before they occur," Stoneback said. "This legislation helps ensure the safety of gun owners and their families."
HB 1092 is intended to promote education and awareness of the state's Firearms Restraining Order Act. The legislation includes yearly training for law enforcement on the use of law and awareness campaigns for the general public.
Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, opposed the legislation. Barickman said the law opens up the possibility for angry former spouses to use the legislation as a threat.
"We have seen it across the country," Barickman said. "Angry spouses use laws like these as threats and as punishments and as retaliation during disputes."
Stoneback said the law has protections for gun owners.
"This bill leaves intact many protections for gun owners against false claims, the due process for these claims is very tight and will remain so even after the passing of HB1092," she said.
The legislation will help reduce homicides and suicides, Stoneback said.
"People who live in households where guns are available are at a much higher risk of gun homicides, gun-related domestic abuse cases, and gun-related suicides," Stoneback said. "This is a very important issue that we must address."
Republican state Sen. Neil Anderson, of Moline, said the legislation is in violation of gun owner's rights.
"This is just yet another step forward in taking away constitutional rights from gun owners and strips them of their rights to due process," Anderson said.
The Illinois State Rifle Association, an advocacy group for gun owner's rights, has been neutral in its stance on this bill.
Executive Director Richard Pearson said "If this bill is enforced properly then it can help save people's lives."
The measure goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022.