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Gov. Pritzker Takes Action to Hold Gun Manufacturers Accountable

Press Release - Saturday, August 12, 2023

CHICAGO — Building on historic action to protect Illinoisans from gun violence and just a day after the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state's assault weapons ban, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act (FIRA) into law, holding accountable gun manufacturers who knowingly caused harm from unsafe marketing practices. Governor Pritzker signed the bill alongside lawmakers and gun control advocates at Gun Sense University, an annual training conference of more than 2,000 Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and survivors, hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety.

"Today, I proudly signed the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act into law — finally holding gun manufacturers accountable for endangering the public safety and health of our people," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We hold opioid manufacturers accountable. Vaping companies accountable. Predatory lenders accountable. Gun manufacturers shouldn't get to hide from the law—and now, they won't be able to. Here's to an Illinois where everyone feels safe in every corner of our great state."

"No single industry should be given a free pass to engage in unlawful, unfair or deceptive conduct," said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. "The Firearms Industry Responsibility Act clarifies my office's ability to use the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which is a tool to hold businesses accountable for fraudulent or deceptive practices through civil litigation. It is how my office has protected the public from opioid manufacturers, vaping companies, tobacco companies and predatory lenders. By signing this legislation, Gov. Pritzker has taken an important step to protect consumers and increase public safety."

"Thoughts and prayers are hollow if we do not also act decisively. That is why we are continuing to rise to the occasion through this bill that will hold gun manufacturers accountable for advertising to our youth and promoting dangerous, illegal acts that jeopardize lives," said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. "For too long our communities have lost loved ones to gun violence. In Illinois, we are standing up to say ‘enough is enough'."

"Depicting guns as tools for carnage is a dangerously irresponsible sales tactic that will undoubtedly lead to further murder and maiming of innocent people," said state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview. "It is tragic that we have to step in to ensure manufacturers exercise common sense. However, thankfully due to the law we are codifying today, any reckless companies participating in such behavior will face serious penalties for their wanton disregard for public safety."

"As a society, we long ago established that it is irresponsible, unsafe and illegal to allow certain entities to target our children with their marketing," said Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). You see that with cigarettes and alcohol. This new law holds gun makers to the same standards, telling them to stop marketing to an audience that cannot legally purchase the product. It's common sense."

Under the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act (HB 218), gun manufacturers that engage in unsafe and unlawful marketing and sale will be held accountable for actions contributing to gun violence in Illinois communities. The proposed measure will prohibit advertising and marketing that encourages para-military or unlawful private militia activity and advertising to individuals under 18 that encourages the use of a firearm in an unlawful manner including advertising the uses of cartoons, stuffed animals and clothing targeted towards children.

Earlier this year, Governor Pritzker signed legislation to ban assault weapons, cap sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines, ban "switches" that convert legal handguns into assault weapons and extend the ability of courts to prevent dangerous individuals from possessing a gun through firearm restraining orders.

Governor Pritzker has also signed legislation to ban unserialized, privately made "ghost guns," the first Midwestern state to do so (HB 4383). In 2021, Governor Pritzker signed legislation expanding background checks on all gun sales in Illinois and modernizing and strengthening the Firearm Owners Identification Card System (HB 562). Additionally, Governor Pritzker signed legislation (SB 337) to combat the scourge of illegal gun trafficking, making Illinois the 16th state to require gun dealers to be certified by the state after more than a decade of work. Governor Pritzker's Reimagine Public Safety Act also established the first ever Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, providing a historic investment in community-based violence prevention for the communities most affected by firearm violence.

This legislation is effective immediately.

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