Gov. Pritzker signs bill expanding background checks on all gun sales in Illinois

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AURORA, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 562 on Monday, which expands background checks on all gun sales in Illinois, provides state police funding to take guns away from people with revoked FOID cards, and establishes an opt-in fingerprint identification program for gun owners.

A press release from the governor’s office says the legislation is part of an effort to address gun violence as a public health crisis and adds to the $128 million investment in violence prevention programs included in the current year’s state budget.

It also marks the first update to the Firearm Owners Identification Card system since it was created more than 50 years ago. The release says the number of gun owners in Illinois has almost doubled from 1.2 million in 2010 to 2.2 million today.

The press release says the bill includes the following changes:

  • Expands background checks to all gun sales in Illinois starting in 2024.
  • Invests in community-based, trauma-informed mental health programs in the communities most impacted by gun violence.
  • Provides appropiate funding to Illinois State Police to force people with revoked FOID cards to surrender their guns.
  • Requires ISP to take guns away from people with revoked FOID cards who have not surrendered their firearms.
  • Changes how FOID card fees are distributed: $5 will go to the State Police Firearm Services Fund and $5 will go into the State Police Revocation Enforcement Fund. Previously, $6 went to the Wildlife and Fish Fund, $1 to the State Police Services Fund, and $3 to the State Police Firearm Services Fund.
  • Establishes a stolen gun database and requires ISP to continuously monitor state and federal databases for prohibited gun buyers.
  • Creates stronger identification factors, like fingerprints, so Illinois State Police can more easily verify the identity of FOID applicants and firearm purchasers, as well as increase the frequency of background checks. This allows gunowners who opt into this process to see their FOID and Concealed Carry applications expedited and automatically renewed going forward. 
  • Makes the FOID card system more efficient by allowing ISP to build electronic records, create a combined FOID and concealed carry license, offer cardholders the ability to apply for renewal six months before the expiration date, and form a professional appeals board.
  • Provides all law enforcement agencies in the state access to the FOID status of any person.
  • Ensures ISP will continuously monitor federal and state databases for any new threat to safety.
  • Requires every Illinois law enforcement agency to submit ballistics information to national crime databases within 48 hours
  • Makes stolen firearm reports available to the public to crack down on illegal gun trafficking.

“The bill I sign today delivers to Illinoisans everywhere the most comprehensive reform to our state firearms laws in over a generation," says Pritzker. "Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have come together to shape a law steeped in a commonsense commitment to safety.

“The state will now require universal background checks on all gun sales in Illinois. We’re also taking action to ensure responsible gunowners aren’t held back by an antiquated licensing system – which hasn’t seen significant updates since its founding more than 50 years ago.”

“Effective violence prevention requires a multi-faceted approach, and partnerships between local law enforcement and state and federal government agencies are critical in order to reduce gun violence and violent crime in communities throughout Illinois,” says Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

“I appreciate Governor Pritzker recognizing this and signing House Bill 562 into law as another important step in our collective goal to prevent violent crime. I look forward to continuing to use the tools within my office and building upon our partnerships with law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups to work to prevent violent crimes and support crime victims across the state.” 

“The ISP welcome the signing of this bill which modernizes FOID and eliminates redundant and duplicative processes that do nothing to improve public safety," says ISP Director Brendan Kelly. "This act will help us in our mission to make lawful gun ownership easier for the good guys while keeping guns out of the hands of those who threaten public safety."

“This is the type of lasting change the people of our state need and deserve,” says House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “Never again will we allow another senseless tragedy like the mass shooting in Aurora, where a convicted felon killed five innocent people and wounded several others, to happen on our watch.

"With this bill we are giving our state police additional money and resources to ensure law abiding citizens can exercise their second amendment rights, while also equipping our officers with the tools to keep them out of the hands of individuals who present a danger to themselves or others.” 

“This consequential piece of legislation modernizes our decades-old FOID system and ensure we keep firearms out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and others, while at the same time streamlines the process for responsible gun owners,” says state Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “As gun violence continues to devastate families across the country, Illinois is taking a major step forward in leading the effort to keep people safe and families together.”

“Today our coalition delivered, organizing to ensure Governor Pritzker and legislators from both parties could take a major step forward in reducing the gun violence that plagues Illinois every day, in particular our Black and Brown communities,” said Kathleen Sances, President of Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois. “While the scourge of gun violence is a major equity issue that will not go away overnight, survivors and violence prevention advocates across the country can look at our coalition’s major victory and know that we can pass common sense measures that save lives without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. We thank Governor Pritzker for his support for this bill, the second major piece of gun violence prevention legislation he has signed into law.”

HB 562 takes effect January 1, 2022 except universal background checks which take effect January 1, 2024.

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via News | WCIA.com https://www.wcia.com

August 2, 2021 at 12:55PM

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