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Illinois introduces laws restricting access to firearms

From the streets of Chicago to the agricultural heartland in the Mississippi River Valley, there are plenty of ways for a resident of Illinois to get inadvertently hurt. Most injuries in the state are accidents with the main concern of recovery, but occasionally someone may be hurt by someone else's actions or negligence.

The state government in Springfield is working to prevent one of the leading causes of personal injury in the state. Two new laws will take effect in January 2019 to restrict access to firearms. The first law expands a 72-hour waiting period for handguns to all consumer firearms, including rifles and shotguns. It would also do away with a waiting period exemption that currently applied to out-of-state residents shopping at gun shows.

The second law allows police officers or relatives of a person to secure a restraining order against a threatening person. The threat must be the significant danger posed by a person in possession of or acquiring a firearm. This also extends to the petitioner's ability to take a firearm away from a person who is deemed "too dangerous" by the court.

If a dangerous person keeps or reacquires a firearm, Illinois police would have an easier time getting a search warrant and seizing those weapons. These actions may also be used as evidence in criminal or civil proceedings.

If a person is injured or killed by a firearm, the victims and their survivors have the right to seek financial damages in a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help consult with victims and their families on the best way towards being made whole in the court system.

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