SPRINGFIELD – Under the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the Illinois State Police (ISP) has enhanced its coordination with all local law enforcement agencies as part of the background check process for those younger than 21 years. BSCA allows for more thorough background checks by expanding what records are being reviewed and allowing more time to look into the records if required.

“Every day, ISP performs lifesaving background checks on firearms purchasers to prevent individuals who are a threat to themselves or others from obtaining a gun,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Under this federal Act, ISP has enhanced our background check process for those under 21, giving law enforcement a fuller picture of the individual seeking to buy a firearm, stopping potential tragedies. This is not theoretical – this is real interdiction that happens every day.”

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One of the greatest enhancements for ISP is communicating with local law enforcement agencies, both in Illinois and other states, about their interactions with juveniles and if there is a possibly disqualifying juvenile record. ISP continues to review juvenile criminal records, as well as mental health records, and all Clear and Present Danger reports to see if a report has ever been submitted for that juvenile. Since June 1, 2022, ISP has utilized the new parameters allowed by the BSCA for an enhanced background check process for those younger than 21 years and reviewed 3,174 firearm transactions, 73 of which were from out of state. Of the 3,174 reviewed, the Illinois State Police denied three firearm transactions due to a firearm prohibitor. In addition, three Clear and Present Danger reports were submitted and affirmed by local law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, while the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has always been and will continue to be a part of all firearm purchases, now when an individual from out of state goes to purchase a firearm in Illinois, ISP will check the criminal history and mental health repositories of that purchaser’s resident state, along with their local law enforcement.

Being able to review more information can help prevent those who pose a significant threat of harm to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.

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