He cited a Chicago Sun-Times Watchdogs investigation published in November that found that although more than 50,000 people with mental illnesses have been barred from owning guns in Illinois in recent years, the law has done little to take guns out of their hands.

The state has revoked the firearm owner’s identification, or FOID, cards of thousands of gun owners who have been prohibited from owning firearms because of mental illness or criminal offenses. But the Illinois State Police and local police agencies haven’t seized many guns from those people, despite the state law put in place following deadly mass shootings across the nation.

People with revoked FOID cards are required to report the disposition of their guns to the police. But law enforcement agencies typically don’t check whether they’re doing so, the Sun-Times found.

Under Harris’ bill, when anyone with a revoked gun cards fails to comply with the law, the local police would be required to go to court and seek a warrant to search the person’s home for the FOID card and any firearms.

gun ban full of holes

Harris also is proposing to bar anyone on the federal terrorist watch list from owning a gun in Illinois. He noted that New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar law about two years ago.

Though more than 1 million people are on the terrorist watch list, Harris said a small fraction are U.S. citizens, and those on the list have the right to appeal.

President Barack Obama has urged Congress to bar gun ownership for people on the federal “no-fly” list, which includes about 47,000 names and is a subset of the terrorist watch list.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, a gun-rights advocate who helped craft the current law, said he needs to study Harris’s proposal. But he argued that any new legislation should be  worded so it doesn’t intrude on the rights of people complying with state gun regulations.

“I think Representative Harris may have great intentions on this, but I don’t want any law-abiding gun owners to get caught in trap,” Phelps said.