Policies to Reduce Gun Violence in Illinois: Research, Policy Analysis, and Recommendations

by Alexander McCourt; Cassandra K. Crifasi; Daniel W. Webster

Feb 1, 2019

Compared to many other states, Illinois has relatively strong firearm laws. Nonetheless, there are several ways in which Illinois could further strengthen its laws to reduce the diversion of guns for criminal use and gun violence. This report is comprised of three main section. First, it provides an overview of current law in Illinois related to standards and processes for obtaining a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) license, background checks, drug and alcohol related prohibitions, domestic violence prohibitions, extreme risk protection orders, and concealed carry of firearms. Second, we review existing evidence on the effectiveness of firearm-related laws including the impacts of purchaser licensing to reduce diversion and homicide, domestic violence restraining orders and intimate partner violence, discretion in issuing concealed carry licenses, extending prohibitions to individuals with multiple alcohol-related convictions, and local community-based interventions to reduce gun violence. Third, we conclude the report by offering ten evidence-based recommendations to reduce gun violence in Illinois.

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