Laws and legal aspects, to a common citizen’s eyes, seem intimidating and unapproachable, however, laws are in place to protect and serve us. Understanding and making sense of systems such as the prison system and legal system in your state can be incredibly taxing. Knowing even the basics about one’s state’s laws is an important skill. You don’t need to pull out your state constitution today, we’ll intimate you on the ten important things you should know about Illinois law.
1. Gun Laws
Due to the rise in gun-related violence all over the country, the state of Illinois implemented two laws for better gun control. One of the laws proposes a 72 hour waiting period for the purchasing of guns. Pre-implementation of this law, only handguns had a waiting period. The working of this law is that once a gun has been ordered, the person ordering it will have to wait for 72 hours to get the gun.
The other gun law is known as the Lethal Order of Protection law, where a family member, friends and even the police can appeal to a court to take away the guns and ammunition of a violent person for six months if a said person possess immediate danger.
2. Sexual Assault in Higher Education
This law has been enacted for college students to come out more openly about their cases and encourages them to report sexual assault. According to this law, hospitals have to provide an evidence kit to the person claiming assault and give access to showers at no cost. No cost police reports are to be provided to the survivors and they’ll have up to ten years to submit their evidence kit to the police, according to this law.
3. Social Media Stalking
Stalking, in the state of Illinois, is already a Class 4 offense. A person found guilty is sentenced to a minimum of a year in prison. A new law has been created through which unwanted messages over social media can also qualify as stalking.
4. Hemp Law
Although Illinois has not yet taken solid measures to legalize recreational or medical marijuana, through a passed bill, it has sought to legalize hemp. Hemp is a derivative of Cannabis and cannot be smoked. It is mainly used to create products like clothing and rope.
5. Pink in Hunting
To avoid the accidental shooting of a person while hunting, bright oranges are worn by hunters. The new law, however, seeks to promote more safety and therefore, now the hunting gears have to have the color pink on them so as to warn off other hunters and avoid shooting human beings. It is to be noted that hunters still have to wear at least 400 square inches of orange or pink along with a hat.
6. Animal Welfare Bill
A new bill has been passed through which the police can, for a short while, remove cats and dogs from hostile weather that might adversely affect the animal. For example, from a car that is left locked in the heat.
7. Minimum Wage
As per law, the minimum wage in Illinois for tipped and non-tipped workers is $8.25 per hour. However, it is to be noted that in Chicago, the minimum wage is $12.00 per hour (to be increased to $13.00 per hour from July 1, 2019 onwards). Also, in Cook County, the minimum wage is $11.00 per hour.
8. Ban on Ivory
The rise in the illegal business of exporting ivory and considering the cruel practices of poachers, Illinois has prompted a bill that entirely bans ivory sales, making it one of the nine states to impose said ban. Raw ivory is completely banned by the clauses of this bill. However, the bill does not ban pianos with ivory keys and firearms if they qualify as antiques.
9. Car Seats for Children
A new bill makes it legally binding for children under the age of 2 to be seated facing the rear of the vehicle for better protection in case of a car crash. The bill uses a study from 2007 is a reference, claiming that, in case of a car crash, children are less likely to be injured or killed if they are seated in a rear-facing position because said position gives them better upper body support.
10. Trafficking Law
If a person is pushed into involuntary sex work or is a victim of sex trafficking and has admitted the same in front of the legal authorities, he/she can sue their traffickers. The victim will be compensated by the perpetrator in forms of sustained damages and court costs, decided by the court itself.
It can be seen that the laws in Chicago are in place to protect its citizens. Although the former laws seemed adequate to run a society, newer laws are being established on a rolling basis to protect citizens from recently developed dangers. Gun Laws are an instance of how law changes with changing time.