Illinois GOP Gov. Rauner signs new gun control legislation — here’s what will change

Illinois GOP Gov. Rauner signs new gun control legislation — here’s what will change
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed new gun control bills into law Monday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed new gun control legislation Monday, again showing himself to be a Republican politician willing to give some ground on gun issues to pass bipartisan legislation, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The bills Rauner signed Monday will extend the waiting period to 72 hours for all firearm purchases and allow police to take guns from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

“This is a very important day for the people of Illinois,” Rauner said at a press conference. “Today, I’m signing a very good piece of legislation to improve public safety for the people of our state.

“For too long, we’ve had situations where guns can be kept in the hands of individuals who are mentally unstable or deemed to be dangerous. We can’t have that situation continue to exist,” Rauner said.

The ‘red flag’ bill

Rauner signed a bill that gives family members or law enforcement officers the ability to seek an order of protection to have guns taken away from a person who is found to be a danger to themselves or others.

The bill passed despite concerns from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates that the law could be used maliciously to take guns from law-abiding citizens, or to smear their reputation.

The length of the gun removal was shortened to six months, down from a full year, during negotiations. If a petition for gun removal is denied, that file will be expunged from the subject’s record. If it is granted, it will be sealed after three years.

Some of the factors in determining whether someone is dangerous include reckless use, display or brandishing of a gun, felony arrests, drug or alcohol abuse, or violent acts or threats. Clear and convincing evidence of danger is required for a person’s guns to be seized.

Once taken, the guns can either be held in the possession of police or potentially a friend who can legally own a firearm and who swears not to give the weapons back to the owner until the order has ended.

Waiting period

Illinois’ waiting period for gun purchases previously only applied to handguns. After Rauner signed the bill Monday, however, purchasers must now wait 72 hours for any gun purchases, including so-called assault weapons.