Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4156
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Full Text of HB4156  102nd General Assembly

HB4156 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB4156

 

Introduced , by Rep. Margaret Croke

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
New Act

    Creates the Firearms Dealer and Importer Liability Act. Provides that the Act may be referred to as the Protecting Heartbeats Act. Provides that any manufacturer, importer, or dealer of a firearm shall be held strictly liable for any bodily injury or death if the bodily injury or death proximately results from the unlawful discharge of the firearm in the State. Allows any person, other than an officer or employee of a State or local governmental entity, to bring a civil action against any person or entity who violates the Act. Requires the court to award a prevailing claimant: (1) injunctive relief; (2) statutory damages in an amount of not less than $10,000 for each individual injured or killed by a firearm that the defendant manufactured, imported, or dealt; and (3) costs and attorney's fees. Provides for various limitations.


LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

HB4156LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Short title; references to Act.
5    (a) Short title. This Act may be cited as the Firearms
6Dealer and Importer Liability Act.
7    (b) References to Act. This Act may be referred to as the
8Protecting Heartbeats Act.
 
9    Section 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds, according
10to contemporary medical research, that:
11        (1) firearms pose a risk to State residents' health
12    and life;
13        (2) the discharge of firearms in an unlawful manner to
14    cause bodily injury or death have become a key medical
15    predictor that the health and life of a State resident is
16    endangered;
17        (3) the discharge of firearms in an unlawful manner
18    that causes bodily injury or death does not advance either
19    an individual or collective right to keep or bear arms
20    under the Second Amendment of the United States
21    Constitution; and
22        (4) the State has compelling interest in protecting
23    the health and the life of State residents
 

 

 

HB4156- 2 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
2    "Dealer" means any person or entity that transfers a
3firearm to another person or entity.
4    "Firearm" has the same meaning as in the Firearm Owners
5Identification Card Act.
6    "Importer" means any person or entity engaged in the
7business of importing or bringing firearms into the United
8States for purposes of sale or distribution.
9    "Prospective firearm owner" means a person who is
10attempting to acquire a firearm.
 
11    Section 15. Liability.
12    (a) Any manufacturer, importer, or dealer of a firearm
13shall be held strictly liable, without regard to fault or
14proof of defect, for any bodily injury or death if the bodily
15injury or death proximately results from the unlawful
16discharge of the firearm in this State.
17    (b) Any person, other than an officer or employee of a
18State or local governmental entity in this State, may bring a
19civil action against any person or entity who violates this
20Act.
 
21    Section 20. Damages. If a claimant prevails in an action
22brought under this Act, the court shall award:
23        (1) injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the

 

 

HB4156- 3 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1    defendant from violating this Act;
2        (2) statutory damages in an amount of not less than
3    $10,000 for each individual injured or killed by a firearm
4    that the defendant manufactured, imported, or dealt; and
5        (3) costs and attorney's fees.
 
6    Section 25. Required documentation.
7    (a) Any manufacturer, importer, or dealer who transfers a
8firearm shall execute a written document that certifies that
9the firearm shall not be used to cause bodily injury or death
10in violation of this Act.
11    (b) The manufacturer, importer, or dealer shall maintain a
12copy of the document described by subsection (a) in their
13records.
 
14    Section 30. Limitations.
15    (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the following are not
16defenses to an action brought under this Act:
17        (1) ignorance or mistake of law;
18        (2) a defendant's belief that the requirements of this
19    Act are unconstitutional or were unconstitutional;
20        (3) a defendant's reliance on any court decision that
21    has been overruled on appeal or by a subsequent court,
22    even if that court decision had not been overruled when
23    the defendant engaged in conduct that violates this Act;
24        (4) a defendant's reliance on any State or federal

 

 

HB4156- 4 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1    court decision that is not binding on the court in which
2    the action has been brought;
3        (5) nonmutual issue preclusion or nonmutual claim
4    preclusion;
5        (6) the consent of the injured party; or
6        (7) any claim that the enforcement of this Act or the
7    imposition of civil liability against the defendant will
8    violate the constitutional rights of third parties.
9    (b) A defendant against whom an action is brought under
10this Act does not have standing to assert the rights of a
11firearm owner, prospective firearm owner, or group of firearm
12owners or prospective firearm owners as a defense to liability
13unless:
14        (1) the United States Supreme Court holds that courts
15    of this State must confer standing on that defendant to
16    assert the third-party rights of a firearm owner,
17    prospective firearm owner, or group of firearm owners or
18    prospective firearm owners in State court as a matter of
19    federal constitutional law; or
20        (2) the defendant has standing to assert the rights of
21    a firearm owner, prospective firearm owner, or group of
22    firearm owners or prospective firearm owners under the
23    tests of third-party standing established by the United
24    States Supreme Court.
25    (c) A defendant in an action brought under this Act may
26assert an affirmative defense to liability if:

 

 

HB4156- 5 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1        (1) the defendant has standing to assert the
2    third-party rights of a firearm owner, prospective firearm
3    owner, or group of firearm owners or prospective firearm
4    owners; or
5        (2) the defendant demonstrates that the relief sought
6    by the claimant will impose an impermissible burden on the
7    firearm owner, prospective firearm owner, or group of
8    firearm owners and prospective firearm owners.
9    (d) A court may not find an impermissible burden or an
10infringement on the right to keep or bear arms unless a
11defendant introduces evidence proving that:
12        (1) an award of relief will prevent a firearm owner,
13    prospective firearm owners, or group of firearm owners or
14    prospective firearm owners from legally acquiring
15    firearms; or
16        (2) an award of relief will place a substantial
17    obstacle in the path of a firearm owner, prospective
18    firearm owners, or group of firearm owners or prospective
19    firearm owners who are seeking to legally acquire
20    firearms.
21    (e) A defendant may not establish an impermissible burden
22or an infringement on the right to keep or bear arms under this
23Section by:
24        (1) merely demonstrating that an award of relief will
25    prevent a firearm owner, prospective firearm owners, or
26    group of firearm owners or prospective firearm owners from

 

 

HB4156- 6 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1    obtaining support or assistance, financial or otherwise,
2    from others in their efforts to acquire firearms; or
3        (2) arguing or attempting to argue that an award of
4    relief against other defendants or other potential
5    defendants will impose an impermissible burden or infringe
6    on the right to keep or bear arms on a firearm owner,
7    prospective firearm owners, or group of firearm owners or
8    prospective firearm owners.
9    (f) The requirements of this Act shall be enforced
10exclusively through the private civil actions described in
11this Act. No enforcement of this Act may be taken or threatened
12by this State, a political subdivision, a State's Attorney, or
13an executive or administrative officer or employee of this
14State or a political subdivision.
15    (g) A court may not award relief under this Act if the
16defendant demonstrates that the defendant previously paid the
17full amount of statutory damages under this Act in a previous
18action for that particular bodily injury or death.
19    (h) No firearm originally distributed to a government
20entity or government employee in his or her official capacity
21shall provide the basis for liability.
22    (i) No action may be brought under this Act by a person
23injured by a firearm during the commission of a crime, or his
24or her agent, if the injured person was involved in the
25commission of such crime.
26    (j) No action may be brought under this Act by a person

 

 

HB4156- 7 -LRB102 20323 LNS 29178 b

1injured by a firearm who intentionally self-inflicted said
2injury, or his or her agent.
3    (k) A person may bring an action under this Act within 4
4years from the date of bodily injury or death.
5    (l) This Act shall not limit in scope any cause of action
6available to a person injured or killed by a firearm.
 
7    Section 40. Venue. A civil action brought under this Act
8shall be brought in:
9        (1) the county in which all or a substantial part of
10    the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred;
11        (2) the county or residence of any one of the natural
12    person defendants at the time of the cause of action
13    accrued;
14        (3) the county of the principal office in this State
15    of any of the defendants that is not a natural person; or
16        (4) the county or residence for the claimant if the
17    claimant is a natural person residing in this State.
18    If a civil action is brought under this Act in any one of
19the venues described in this Act, the action may not be
20transferred to a different venue without the written consent
21of all parties.
 
22    Section 97. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
23severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.