New Illinois gun law expands background checks, requires lost or stolen firearms reported
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed two new gun safety measures into law Aug. 18.
The law expands background checks for residents buying firearms, and require lost or stolen firearms be reported to authorities, Reuters reports. Seven other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws concerning lost or stolen firearms, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Previously in Illinois, only adults buying guns from licensed firearms dealers or at gun shows were subject to background checks. Buyers needed to have a Firearms Owners Identification Card, issued by state police, to prove they have passed a criminal and mental health screening. Sellers were required to call a state-run hotline to confirm the validity of the buyer’s card before making a sale. Under the new law, transfers between private parties and all transactions that take place online will now be subject to the same system, Reuters reports. The background check measure goes into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The measures were signed in Nat King Cole Park, close to where an off-duty Chicago Police Officer was shot and killed in May 2010. The weapon used was an illegally trafficked firearm in an apparent robbery attempt, according to the governor’s office.
“Gun trafficking is the single greatest threat to our public safety,” State Senator and bill sponsor Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said in a statement. “I’m proud to have brought together lawmakers with very different perspectives on guns to pass a law that finally moves Illinois toward universal background checks and gives law enforcement a fighting chance against the flood of deadly weapons entering our neighborhoods illegally.”