SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, passed a bill out of the Illinois House of Representatives Friday to further prevent gun violence and protect Illinois communities, particularly survivors of domestic abuse.
“The presence of guns can mean the difference between life and death for survivors of domestic violence and people in abusive relationships,” Hirschauer said. “When abusers have access to a gun, the risk of intimate-partner homicide increases by 500 percent, according to research from the American Journal of Public Health. Removing guns from these volatile situations is a commonsense solution that will undoubtedly save the lives of vulnerable people.”
House Bill 676 clarifies that the respondent of the firearms restraining order is prohibited from acquiring or possessing any firearms for the duration of the order of protection, and outlines the process and timeframe for firearms to be seized after the entry of the order of protection. The bill also permits intimate partners to petition for a firearms order of protection, closing what is commonly known as the “boyfriend loophole.”
The bill also includes several other provisions, including the creation of a task force to review public policy options relating to the insurance of firearms in Illinois. It also expands the First Time Weapons Offense Program for first-time, non-violent offenders charged with certain weapons offenses. This successful diversion program provides alternatives to the criminal justice system likely to reduce further crime and promote public safety.
“Gun violence is a complex public health and safety problem that necessitates comprehensive, multifaceted solutions. This bill is another step in our journey to end gun violence and make Illinois a safer place to live, work, and raise a family,” Hirschauer said. “I am grateful to my colleagues, especially the members of the Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group, for passing this bill, and I implore my colleagues in the Senate to do the same and stand up for the safety of Illinois communities once again.”
House Bill 676 awaits consideration by the Illinois Senate. For more information on Hirschauer’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov.