State Representative Keith R. Wheeler, R-Oswego, filed new legislation today aimed at creating a clear process by which weapons are recovered from individuals whose FOID cards have been revoked while strengthening background checks and improving the ability of law enforcement to understand which persons should be prohibited from possessing weapons. The legislation has been filed as House Bill 3839.
“This legislation is a common-sense and workable first-step in response to the Aurora shooting tragedy,” Representative Wheeler said. “We must balance the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinois gun owners with taking reasonable steps to increase public safety and enhance the tools available to law enforcement to prevent future incidents of gun violence in our community and across Illinois.”
Representative Wheeler’s legislation includes eight separate provisions in response to the faults in Illinois’ current enforcement system that didn’t separate weapons from a revoked FOID cardholder. The lack of a stringent weapon recovery process allowed the perpetrator of the gun violence at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, which tragically claimed five innocent lives and injured five police officers, to maintain possession of a weapon for which he didn’t have a valid FOID card. The individual points of the bill are as follows.
1. Creates a “prohibited persons portal” database for exclusive use by law enforcement
2. Adds FOIA Exemption for data contained in portal to protect privacy
3. Clarifies existing law that a background check includes “prohibiting information”
4. Amends existing law to give the Illinois State Police 7 business days to notify an individual of revocation (currently it does not contain a time); adds persons subject to Firearms Restraining Order as a reason for revocation; and adds persons subject to guardianship under the Probate Act because of disability as a reason for revocation.
5. Gives the Illinois State Police the ability to cancel FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) cards
6. Adds Firearm Disposition Language putting knowledge requirements of the person who a firearm is being transferred to.
7. Creates a Firearm Recovery Task Force to help the Illinois State Police work with local law enforcement to take possession of firearms from dangerous persons whose privileges have been revoked; and allowing local law enforcement agencies to be reimbursed for participation.
8. Amends existing state law to clarify and strengthen the requirement of courts to remove firearms from revoked persons.
Representative Wheeler is working with colleagues to build bipartisan support for House Bill 3839 in order to help prevent future tragedies of gun violence. In addition, Representative Wheeler is working with advocates to understand appropriate changes to the FOID process and system that both improves the accountability of the process yet still honors the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
For questions or more information, please call Representative Wheeler’s office at (630) 345-3464.