Rep. Wheeler files legislation to strengthen state law on firearms restraining order to keep communities safe

Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, has filed new legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives to clarify and strengthen state law with respect to granting a firearms restraining order against an individual deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others.

Specifically, Rep. Wheeler’s legislation, House Bill 5788, provides that a petitioner can file for a firearms restraining order against an individual regardless of whether or not that individual owns a gun or has a gun in their possession, in order to prevent them from obtaining or using a weapon for as long as the restraining order remains in effect.

“My bill is simple and straightforward by making it clear that a person adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others can have a firearms restraining order imposed on them even if they do not own a firearm at that moment,” Rep. Wheeler said. “By making this change, if a person subject to a firearms restraining order applies for a FOID card or goes to purchase a gun or ammunition, the Illinois State Police will be alerted and that individual’s FOID application or gun/ammunition purchase will be denied. In this way, each person’s due process rights will be protected while simultaneously making it easier for our State Police to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals a court has determined should not possess them until such time that the firearms restraining order is lifted.”

The Illinois House of Representatives is scheduled to return for Fall Veto Session November 15-17 and November 29-December 1. Legislative leaders have held open the possibility that a special session could be called prior to November to address public safety and gun violence following the tragic mass shooting in Highland Park on July 4.