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Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart raising awareness of Illinois "red flag" gun law

Cook County Sheriff sponsors billboards for "red flag" gun laws
Cook County Sheriff sponsors billboards for "red flag" gun laws 00:39

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has launched a billboard campaign to raise awareness of Illinois' so-called "red flag law" aimed at helping remove guns from someone who could be a danger to themselves or others.

The Firearms Restraining Order Act allows concerned relatives or roommates to seek a court order to take away guns from someone who might be too dangerous to have one.

Evidence that could support such a court order could include recent threats or acts of violence, evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, a prior felony arrest, a violation of a restraining order or other order of protection, or a history of the use or threat of physical force against another person.

If a judge granted a firearm restraining order against a person, police would be able to go into that person's home to seize any guns they might have.

Dart said, although the state's red flag law was passed in 2019, it only has been used dozens of times each year.

"It's just very frustrating, because there's so much of this we cannot prevent. There is so much we can, though," he said.

The sheriff's office said it has filed more than a dozen firearm restraining orders leading to the recovery of nearly 100 firearms since 2022.

Dart's office has sponsored 30 digital billboards across Cook County to remind the public about the law.

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