Rep. Wheeler’s Bipartisan Public Safety Legislation Now Law

Springfield, IL… Legislation from State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) to amend Illinois law to address the reality of the dangers that can be posed by mentally ill and violent individuals was signed in to law by Governor Rauner on Monday.

The legislation was sparked by February’s violent attack at a school in Parkland, Florida. Senate Bill 3411 will grant entities, like schools, the ability to petition the court for protection. Specifically, it updates Illinois’ Stalking No Contact Order Act 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.  

Individuals can pose a threat to more than just another specific individual. As we’ve seen from the tragic shootings at Parkland and the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, it’s clear that institutions can be targets as well,” Rep. Wheeler said. “This bipartisan legislation was the work of a lot of legislators and individuals who recognized the need to strengthen current law concerning the public safety threat of individuals who exhibit signs of violent behavior.”

SB 3411 was crafted with the help of Lake County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Salvi. The bipartisan legislation, backed by all members of the Legislative Public Safety Group, passed both legislative chambers unanimously.  The new law will take effect on January 1, 2019. 

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