Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed a law Sunday that requires gun owners to report missing or stolen firearms to police. The legislation also requires a background check for private gun sales as of Jan. 1, 2014.
Going into effect immediately, the law requires gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm to police within 72 hours.
"It's going to help our law enforcement," Quinn said. "It's going to help all of us be safe."
Quinn signed the legislation at a South Side park where an off-duty officer was fatally shot with an illegal gun in 2010. It was passed by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly with high majority support.
“It’s important that we really have a federal standard ultimately but you gotta start somewhere and that’s why our state passed this law regarding lost and stolen,” said Quinn.
Chicago saw another bloody weekend. At least four people were fatally shot Friday night and two down others were wounded, CBS Chicago reported.
“When someone breaks into your home or your vehicle and steals a firearm there’s a very good likelihood they’re going to do something illegal with that gun,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau.
As of Jan. 1, the measure will also close a loophole in state law that requires a background check for the sale of a firearm by a licensed dealer or gunshow merchant. Previously private sales did not require a background check. Now private sellers will be held to the same standards.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez appeared at the law signing in Nat King Cole Park. Alvarez said the law will hold people accountable for buying guns illegally and then selling them privately – a practice that has kept gang members armed.
"This legislation makes perfect sense," said Grau. "It will make my officers safer and our communities safer."