Wheeler Passes Bipartisan Public Safety Legislation

Following the violent attack in Parkland, Florida, it became clear it could have been prevented had the school had the ability to petition the court for protection. Recognizing this reality, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) began crafting bipartisan legislation to address a similar gap in Illinois law. Along with the help of Lake County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Salvi, Senate Bill 3411 would allow a school, place of worship or workplace to seek protection.

“Even though we already have specific rules in place to keep firearms out of the hands of someone who may be suffering from a potentially dangerous mental health problem or who has exhibited signs of violent behavior, a gap currently exists in our law. This legislation helps us close that gap and improve public safety,” said Rep. Wheeler. “I want to thank Senator Raoul for carrying this legislation in the Senate, Lake County Judge Joseph Savli for helping us find a solution to address this issue, and all of the members of the Legislative Public Safety Group who came together to support this legislation.”

Specifically, Senate Bill 3411 updates Illinois’ Stalking No Contact Order to allow a school, church or workplace to petition the court if they have a legitimate concern that a person poses a danger. Current law only allows an individual to petition the court in this way. This will allow a judge to temporarily restrict access to firearms of someone who is deemed a danger to themselves or others while an investigation is conducted. Such a law could have prevented the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, as the shooter was expelled from the school for violent behavior.

Although SB3411 has already passed both Houses of the General Assembly, it will head back to the Senate for a concurrence vote to approve a minor adjustment made by a House Amendment. Since the legislation has wide ranging bipartisan support, in particular being backed by all members of the Legislative Public Safety Group, it is expected to be easily concurred with by the Senate and sent to the Governor.

For additional information about SB 3411, Click Here.

No comments :