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Illinois Bill Would Allow Police to Remove Gun After Protection Order

Karina Gonzalez, a resident of Little Village in Chicago, was fatally shot two weeks after she told police that her husband had threatened to kill her, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. She was granted an order of protection banning the husband from her home, a clear and present danger report on the husband was filed, and Illinois State Police revoked his firearm owner identification card (FOID). Yet, he was still home when he fatally shot his wife and wounded his son. The incident illustrates a glaring gap in state law, where there is no clear process for removing a gun after an order of protection has been issued, according to domestic violence prevention advocates. The law also does not dictate how quickly it must be done. “There’s no accountability,” said Amanda Pyron, executive director of the Network, a collection of domestic violence prevention groups. “While you know a FOID card is supposed to be revoked, and in this case was revoked, that does nothing to affect a person’s ability to own their firearms.”


A bill in the General Assembly would give police the authority to immediately remove a gun after a protection order is issued and would give them 48 hours to do it. “If we had passed it a couple of years ago, countless lives would have been saved,” said state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, lead sponsor of the bill. In Cook County alone, there are about 731,000 FOID card holders. Of those, more than 37,000 have been revoked. Of those revoked, 74%, or roughly 27,000, are noncompliant, meaning they likely still have their weapons. In domestic violence cases, the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk of a homicide by 500%, according to a 2022 report from the Network. “People who use harm will go to any lengths at any time to continue to exert harm or even kill their partners,” said Stephanie Love-Patterson, executive director of Connections for Abused Women and Their Children. “Leaving doesn’t always equal safety or taking back your power either, even getting an order of protection does not necessarily lead to safety.”

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