Illinois circuit clerks unconcerned about new gun law

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ circuit court clerks said there shouldn’t be any problems meeting the requirements of a new state law that puts them into the gun control effort.

Circuit court clerks have had to report mental health orders from a judge for years, but it was loosely enforced.

A new state law now places greater emphasis on making them responsible for telling the Illinois State Police any time a judge rules someone is mentally ill or had a mental health issue. The idea is keep guns out of those people’s hands.

Kathleen Keefe, circuit clerk in McHenry County, said clerks already have the information. They just need to send it along.

“It doesn’t seem like it should be too difficult,” Keefe said.

But that doesn’t mean Keefe and other clerks are excited about the new report.

Keefe said, once again, courts are being saddled with a mandate from Springfield.

“Ultimately it ends up costing some dollars because it requires changes to the case management system,” Keefe said.

The law doesn’t include any new money to cover those costs.

The Illinois State Police are in charge of acting on the report. But troopers say the rules for exactly how they’ll process the information has yet to be created, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the new reporting requirement into law last month.