New Laws For 2019

Here are some of the new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2019…

Firearm Restraining Order Act

A firearm owner’s family member, or any member of law enforcement, may petition a Court requesting that a firearm owner should surrender his or her firearms and FOID or Concealed Carry License. To do so, the family member or law enforcement officer must demonstrate to the Court that the firearm owner poses a significant danger of causing injury to himself, herself or another in the near future.

The procedure in obtaining a Firearm Restraining Order mirrors the procedure in obtaining an Order of Protection. This includes the ability for an emergency Firearm Restraining Order to be issued ex parte, meaning the firearm owner would not have the immediate ability to present a defense.

Once a Firearm Restraining Order is issued, an individual who continues to possess the firearm or fails to surrender their firearm and FOID or Concealed Carry License can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor offense.

Suspended/Revoked License

In the past, if a person arrested for driving on a license that had been suspended or revoked based on the failure to pay parking tickets, red light camera tickets or back child support would be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. In 2019, the General Assembly reduced class level from a criminal offense to a petty offense, punishable by fine only.

DUI Sentencing

A court can now consider the fact that an individual was driving the wrong way on a one way road during the commission of a DUI as a factor in aggravation in sentencing proceedings. That means a Court can sentence a DUI offender more severely or harshly because he or she drove the wrong way and risked a head-on collision with another vehicle or struck a pedestrian who would not be expecting a vehicle coming from that direction.

Minor Traffic Ticket Promise to Appear

In 2015, the law changed to allow officers to let individuals ticketed for a minor traffic offense to provide a signature on the ticket as their promise to appear in Court instead of providing their license as their promise to appear. In 2019, this has changed again. Now, an individual ticketed for a minor offense will not have to sign at all.

Order of Protection

Previously, only those who had a specific type of relationship with an individual were allowed to obtain an Order of Protection with said individual. While this specific type of relationship is still required, it has been expanded. Starting in 2019, a foster parent or foster guardian (or prospective foster parent or foster guardian) who is caring for a child and has been subjected to abuse or harassment by the birth parents can obtain an Order of Protection.

FOID Card Renewal

In the past, upon expiration of one’s FOID card, their ability to lawfully possess a firearm was terminated and they would not be able to legally possess a firearm (or ammunition) until a new FOID card had been issued. Starting this year, if a FOID card holder submits their renewal application prior to the expiration date of their FOID card, the FOID card will remain valid while the Illinois State Police processes the renewal application.

Firearm Purchase Waiting Period

Prior to 2019, a firearm buyer would have to wait at least 24 hours from the time of purchase to take possession of a long gun and 72 hours before taking possession of a handgun. Now, the 72 hour waiting period applies to both long guns and handguns.

Stalking-No Contact Order

The Stalking-No Contact law acts as a Restraining Order for those individuals who do not qualify for a Restraining Order due to having the specific type of relationship with a respondent in order to get a Restraining Order. Now, the Stalking-No Contact law allows for certain entities to obtain an order prohibiting an individual from certain acts directed towards the entity. Places of employment, places of worship and schools may request that a Stalking-No Contact Order be issued against an individual. If granted, the Court may require the individual to surrender their firearms and FOID card, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and submit to a mental health evaluation.

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