Springfield — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today applauded the Senate’s passage of his Firearm Industry Responsibility Act to hold the gun industry accountable for unlawful sales and marketing tactics.
House Bill 218, sponsored by Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, will next go to the governor for approval.
“No single industry should be given a free pass to engage in unlawful, unfair or deceptive conduct,” Attorney General Raoul said. “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. I want to thank Illinois Senate President Don Harmon and members of the Senate for passing this important legislation to protect consumers and increase public safety.”
Raoul’s legislation amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to clarify that businesses in the firearms industry are and have always been subject to civil liability if they engage in unlawful business and marketing practices.
The proposal clarifies that manufacturers, marketers, retailers and others in the industry face potential action under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, including monetary damages and injunctive relief, should they violate the act. The legislation expressly excludes communications or promotional materials for lawful firearms safety programs, instructional courses, hunting activities or sport shooting events.
“At its core, this is to protect consumers and prevent firearm companies from marketing to children and promoting illegal militia activities,” said Senate President Harmon. “These are reasonable, manageable steps we can take to help curb the scourge of gun violence in our state.”
The proposed legislation is the most recent step in Attorney General Raoul’s work to comprehensively address gun violence throughout Illinois and across the nation. The Attorney General’s Office has been defending, and will continue to defend, the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act in both state and federal court.
Raoul created a state-of-the-art crime-gun tracing database for Illinois law enforcement called Crime Gun Connect. Raoul’s office also collaborates with local law enforcement to combat gun trafficking and has used the office’s jurisdiction to prosecute multi-county gun trafficking offenses. Additionally, the Attorney General’s office works with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to increase awareness of Illinois’ red flag law and to address gaps in Illinois’ firearms licensing system. The office also continues to prosecute individuals who lie on FOID card applications.
The Attorney General’s office partners with the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) to try to avert violence by hosting trainings for law enforcement officers, educators, religious leaders and other community members that are designed to prevent targeted
Attorney General Raoul has persistently advocated at the federal and state level to strengthen the regulation of 3D-printed guns and ghost guns. Illinois law now prohibits ghost guns, but the office continues to fight in federal court to help defend a recent rule closing the federal loophole.
Nationally, Attorney General Raoul successfully filed and resolved a lawsuit to get the federal firearm license of an unscrupulous arms manufacturer revoked. The office has also led several multi-state amicus briefs supporting commonsense gun safety laws in other states.
In addition to supporting law enforcement, the Attorney General’s office supports victims service providers around Illinois that offer trauma-informed services for crime victims and their families. Raoul’s Crime Victims Services Division administers a host of programs and services to assist survivors of violent crime. More information is available on the Attorney General’s website.