Illinois House approves plan allowing six-month suspension of gun rights for people showing ‘red flags’

Illinois House approves plan allowing six-month suspension of gun rights for people showing 'red flags'

The Illinois State Capitol building, shown Feb. 7, 2018, in Springfield. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune) Illinois judges would have discretion to temporarily suspend the gun rights of someone who displays violent warning signs if family members, housemates or police seek court intervention, under a proposal that cleared the state House on Wednesday. Proponents have billed the legislation as a way to prevent mass shootings and other common gun-related deaths. Opponents, meanwhile, question its necessity and whether it would interfere with law-abiding gun owners’ civil liberties. Sponsoring Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, said the measure would create a way to prevent gun violence before it occurs by getting guns away from someone who raises “red flags,” such as concerning posts on social media or threatening remarks. She said families and friends of people who show signs of mental illness or distress “oftentimes feel powerless” and would rather not put their loved ones in a situation where they could face arrest. “This is something that can enable them to help convince the person to get help,” Willis said. Illinois lawmakers are considering a slew of gun control measures intended to prevent mass shootings that have beset the country. Under Willis’ proposal, a judge could suspend someone’s gun rights for up to six months. The House approved the bill 80-32 with bipartisan support, sending it to the Senate for consideration. A similar measure, introduced by Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, is pending in the Senate. Support for gun control measures falls along […]

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