* Heritage Foundation on the Travis Reinking case…
Clearly, there are questions about how this suspect managed to avoid a criminal or mental health history that would have disqualified him from firearm possession under federal law. There are also questions about whether the revocation of his state firearms permit should have been reported to the FBI background check database.
Yet, in many respects, Illinois law worked exactly as intended, and a mentally ill individual who posed a risk of danger to himself or others was disarmed.
The problem, of course, is that neither current law nor any more restrictive laws could have prevented the suspect’s father from returning the firearms to his son, or from procuring new ones for him.
Um, I can think of a new law that would’ve prevented the father from returning those guns to his son: Don’t let a relative or friend hold weapons for somebody whose FOID card has been revoked.
And the Illinois law most certainly did not work “exactly as intended” or Reinking’s guns would’ve been taken away from him long ago.
* Journal Times editorial…
Reinking’s police record showed a history of recent aberrant behavior and the gun seizure recommended at the behest of federal authorities was clearly warranted.
Illinois lawmakers — and lawmakers in Wisconsin and elsewhere — should take note. Laws should be rewritten to require weapons in cases such as this be physically turned over to law enforcement, and released back to the owner only after a court determines that a thorough mental health evaluation has been done.
It should not be left to the judgment — or lack of judgment — of a family member or friend with a legitimate FOID card.
That law clearly failed the four victims of the Waffle House shooting. Close the loophole that allowed last week’s carnage.
* There’s also this idea from a Tribune editorial…
Another measure pending in Springfield would allow police to seize the guns themselves, not just the FOID, if a judge determined the owner posed a threat to himself or others. Six states already have so-called red flag laws, and Illinois is among 18 others considering them.
The measure pushed by Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, would allow a family member or law enforcement officer to petition a court for a gun violence restraining order against a gun owner whose behavior demonstrates it is warranted. The judge would have to find that an actual threat existed, not just a suspicion or a sinking feeling. The guns could be seized for up to a year, though the person could seek to terminate the order by showing the court that the threat no longer existed.
Such a restraining order would apply narrowly to individuals whose behavior posed a clear threat. It also preserves those individuals’ due process rights.