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Illinois

'Lethal Violence Order Of Protection' Backed By League of Women Voters

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League of Women Voters
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A bill in the Illinois legislature would help friends and family members take action when they see warning signs that could lead to gun violence.

The House could take up the Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act this week. It has already passed the Senate. It would allow courts to temporarily take away guns from people found to be a danger to themselves or others.

The League of Women Voters of Illinois supports the measure. League president Bonnie Cox says—as a therapist—she sees it as a tool that could save lives.

“Family members and friends, they know these situations best. But then, again, it allows for the mental health professional or the legal system to be brought in,” Cox says.

Under the measure, gun owners could have their right to purchase or possess a firearm suspended for up to a year.  Hearings would allow gun owners to answer the accusations against them.

“This is all part of due process. It's saying, 'your Second Amendment rights can be reinstituted after this, when you are in a different state of mind or this criteria is not there any longer,'” Cox says.

The measure also offers protection for gun owners, making it a crime to file a false petition.