Rep. Willis Introduces Major Gun Reforms in Response to Aurora Shooting

05/15/2019
Proposal Backed by Gun Control Advocates and Law Enforcement



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, is pushing new reforms to close loopholes a gunman in Aurora recently exploited to obtain a firearm and kill five people. Willis’ bill gives law enforcement the tools needed to effectively enforce current law and modernizes the application and renewal process for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.



“We were shown the glaring need for this legislation earlier this year when a man who should never have been allowed to obtain a firearm killed five people and wounded seven more – including our brave first responders,” said Willis. “A serious approach to keeping our communities safe starts with properly enforcing gun safety laws. This bill makes it clear that we are serious about keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”



Willis’ legislation, Senate Bill 1966, is a result of negotiations between gun safety advocates and law enforcement officials and aims to close loopholes and streamline and improve existing law to help law enforcement keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. Willis began work on the legislation following the tragic shooting earlier this year that saw an individual who was convicted of numerous offenses—including domestic violence and an out-of-state felony conviction—exploited loopholes in the law and kill five individuals at a factory in Aurora.



The proposal makes various reforms including closing the background check loophole and instituting universal background checks, compelling all firearms sales to take place through licensed dealers, modernizing the gun owner licensing system by increasing the period for approving or denying an application to 90 days and allowing for cancellations, requiring mandatory fingerprinting for all gun owner applications and renewals, starting a prohibited owners portal for law enforcement to share information, strengthening enforcement through reform of gun revocations performed by the Illinois State Police and requiring gun revocations for felony indictments.



“As gun violence continues to plague our state and nation, we are proud advocates of the Fix the FOID Act that would prohibit people with violent criminal histories from buying guns,” said Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC). “We stand by Leader Kathleen Willis and more than 170 organizations who have joined a coalition to put a stop to preventable tragedies, like the recent shooting in Aurora, Illinois.”