Governor Rauner signs pair of gun control bills

Bruce Rauner

SPRINGFIELD – A new law, signed Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner, will make it easier for family members or local law enforcement agencies to take guns away from people who are a threat to themselves or others.

“There has to be a judge, there has to be proof of the issue,” the governor said. “It can’t just be some accusation. There has to be real proof of danger.”

The governor said there are two ways that families or police departments can go about asking a judge to take someone’s guns.

“There is a two-week period, and then there is a six-month period,” Rauner said.

State Rep. Kathleen Willis said that people always see the warning signs after a tragedy. She wants to let people use those as proof to get guns out of a dangerous person’s hands.

“Many of these are red flags,” Willis said. “We’re seeing issues like there is a Facebook post that says you’re going to end it all. You have a Facebook post with a gun that says you’re going to shoot-up a school.”

After a central Illinois man shot four people at a Nashville, Tenn., Waffle House in April, a lot of neighbors and police officers said they had feared the day was coming.

Travis Reinking, the suspect in the shooting, had a history of mental health problems and had his guns confiscated by the Illinois State Police.

Lawmakers said the idea is to allow the people closest to someone to alert authorities before a tragedy occurs.

Willis said in addition to a temporary order allowing a judge to seize someone’s guns, the new law also revokes someone’s FOID card so they can’t buy new guns.

Some gun rights groups however don’t like the plan, they fear it will be too easy for a judge to simply take someone’s guns away.

Rauner said the new law, which was HB2354, is just part of his gun control platform.

The governor on Monday said that he also signed a new law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for all gun sales and vetoed a plan from the legislature to issue state licenses for gun shops in Illinois.