Private gun sales in Illinois must now be approved by state police under a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Sunday.
WGN-TV reported that as of January 1, 2014, the law will require gun sellers to contact a police hotline to confirm that the buyer holds a valid state firearm owners' identification card (FOID), Authorities vowed to expand their services to meet the demand for the new background checks.
"This law really aims at holding those straw buyers accountable for buying a gun then turning around and giving it to a gang member on the street," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said at at the public signing ceremony for the new law, held at a Chicago park where a local police officer, Thomas Wortham IV, was killed in May 2010 by a weapon acquired in such a sale.
Another provision in the law requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to authorities within 72 hours takes effect immediately, making Illinois the eighth state to adopt such a provision.
"Guns are a plague on too many of our communities," WMAQ-TV quoted Quinn as saying on Sunday. "As I said in my State of the State address earlier this year, making sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands is critical to keeping the people of Illinois safe."
The law took effect amid a weekend when, according to the Chicago Tribune, four people were killed by gun violence in Chicago, and another 15 injured.
[Image: "Portrait Of A Middle-Aged Man With Rifle On Shoulder In Gun Store" via Shutterstock]