New Anti-Terrorism Legislation Filed by Bipartisan Coalition of IL House Lawmakers

In an effort to improve public safety and reduce incidences of gun violence in Illinois, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has filed legislation that will help keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who have been deemed a public safety threat, have made threats of terrorism, or have been charged with an act of terrorism. The bill was unveiled at a press conference held at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago on Thursday.

HB 6588 (Harris, D-Chicago) protects the rights of lawful citizens while strengthening provisions of the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Act to as it pertains to rejecting or revoking the credentials of individuals who have been identified as a clear risk to the safety of others. “The Second Amendment is an important part of our Constitution, and HB 6588 does not diminish that right for any individual who wishes to conduct themselves within the framework of our laws,” said HB 6588 Chief Co-Sponsor Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein). “This bipartisan bill takes aim at gun violence in ways that could prevent tragedies like that which occurred earlier this month in Orlando and at Northern Illinois University a few years ago from happening ever again.”

“I applaud the efforts of both Representative  Ed Sullivan (R- Mundelein) and Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) for their work in presenting this commonsense and responsible legislation,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

“While the federal government plays a larger role in this complicated issue, I believe we have a responsibility to do our part,” Durkin added.  “I am proud to lend my support to House Bill 6588.”

State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), who also serves as a Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill, calls HB 6588 a proactive measure that helps keep guns out of the hands of individuals who wish to cause harm to others. “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but I also favor efforts that help ensure that only law abiding citizens have access to firearms,” said Sandack. “Every Illinois family deserves to feel safe, and this bill is a very fair method for maximizing public safety while preserving Constitutional rights.”

While providing law enforcement with an additional tool in the fight against gun violence and terrorism, the legislation also provides for a right to due process for those who have had a FOID card denied or revoked. In addition to the stronger provisions for screening FOID card applicants, HB 6588 also requires police chiefs and deputy chiefs to receive annual training concerning the FOID Act, the Concealed Carry Act, and firearms investigations.

Since its filing earlier this week, nearly 30 members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.