The intersection of intimate partner violence and gun violence is deadly and the ripple effects of the trauma echo far beyond the intimate relationship – affecting children who live with and witness it, and the family members, coworkers, and law enforcement who respond to it. Our top priority in the legislature is keeping people safe, especially survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. An order of protection is a key tool to help protect survivors, especially as they try and leave a violent relationship.
Right now, the order of protection process is failing too many domestic violence survivors, especially when firearms are involved. When an order of protection is granted with the firearm remedy, that gun needs to be removed from the home immediately. We cannot have any ambiguity about this process, the stakes are too high.
Karina’s Bill will clarify the law and give law enforcement clear directives on removing firearms from the home. This legislation is critically important as domestic violence is on the rise both in Chicago and across our state. Last year, there were 56 domestic violence homicides across Illinois, up from 40 in 2021 and 37 in 2020. Added to the rise in domestic violence is the proliferation of firearms across our state. In the US, intimate partner homicide represents 40-50% of the murders of all women.
We have taken a number of important steps forward in gun violence prevention in Illinois in recent years, but we cannot stop doing this important work. Karina’s Bill will close loopholes and strengthen state law to keep more survivors safe and ultimately save lives.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the legislature is scheduled to be in session in a few weeks. I am going to do everything in my power to ensure this bill is passed during the Veto Session. We cannot sit by while tragedies like the one that struck Karina, Daniela, and their family continue to occur.
- Requires firearm removal to occur during service of an emergency order of protection (OP) when granted by a judge.
- Clarifies existing language in statute for a judge to issue a warrant when granting the firearm remedy to allow for consistent firearm removal enforcement across the state.
- Closes a loophole in current statute by barring transfer of ownership of firearms when the firearm remedy is granted.
- Adds dating partners and ex-dating partners to the list of petitioners in the firearm restraining orders act to create additional avenues of firearm relief when an OP is not needed.