Metro East Sheriff Reacts to New Illinois Gun Law

The new law gives judges the power to remove guns from owners that are deemed a threat

Brett Blume
January 02, 2019 - 12:57 pm
Gun and cartridges of 9 mm.

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WATERLOO, Ill. (KMOX) — A Metro East sheriff is talking about the potential impact of a new gun law that took effect with the first of the year.

The Firearms Restraining Order Act allows family members or police to ask a judge to temporarily remove guns from someone they believe to be a threat, to themselves or others.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing says that includes posts made on social media.

"In some of these domestic issues, tensions are high and tempers are flaring," Rohlfing told KMOX's Brett Blume. "A lot of times, people will unfortunately make comments (on social media) that they normally wouldn't."

Rohlfing explains how the law works in the case of a domestic issue.

"Family members can actually come in, give a hearing in front of a judge, similar to an order of protection. A judge could rule, if he finds probable cause if he finds reason that there is a threat, that the person shouldn't be in possession of a firearm."

If a restraining order is granted, officials are able to take a person's firearms for up to six months.

In 2018 Monroe County declared itself to be a "sanctuary county" for gun owners, and Rohlfing has pledged not to enforce any law that he deems to be unconstitutional or that infringes on the 2nd Amendment. Rohlfing believes those sitting on the bench in his county will handle the new law fairly.

"I have full faith in our judges. They're fair and impartial. I have the full confidence that they'll do the right thing."

In addition to social media, he cautions threatening text messages and email are also covered in the law.