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New state gun law, amendments take effect Jan. 1

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs HB 2354

Gov. Bruce Rauner held a news conference at the Thompson Center Monday to sign H.B. 2354, which allows families to cite mental issues in petitioning a court to have firearms taken way from a relative. | Alex Arriaga/Sun-Times

Tuesday marks the new year, and the implementation of several changes to Illinois gun laws.

Three amendments expand ways to revoke a person’s FOID card and also extend the gun-purchase waiting period of rifles to 72 hours, while a new law — the Firearms Restraining Order Act — creates a process to remove firearms from a person deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

The so-called “red flag” law is meant to prevent mass shootings, suicides and domestic violence involving firearms.

The Firearms Restraining Order Act allows family members or police to request an emergency order of protection against a person who shows warning signs, such as making threats on social media.

Signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in July, the act offers a 6-month firearm restraining order or a short-term, emergency order that can be processed in court the same day a petition is filed, without the alleged dangerous person present.

A judge must find probable cause that someone is an immediate to themselves or others for a firearm restraining order to be filed.

Police are responsible for executing a search warrant and seizing a person’s firearms. A person’s FOID card is suspended while an order is effective against them.

Violating the act is considered a misdemeanor offense, and records of an expired firearm restraining order are expunged after three years.

In addition to the restraining order law, three amendments take effect concerning FOID cards and gun purchases: