New law requires gun dealers to get licenses, have video surveil - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New law requires gun dealers to get licenses, have video surveillance

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WSIL -- On his second full day in office, Governor JB Pritzker signed a gun control measure that requires state licenses for gun dealers.

Illinois becomes the 16th state to require those licensees. Governor Pritzker said of the bill:

Gun violence isn't an issue facing one city, or one region, or one group of people — it affects us all, and I want to thank all those tireless advocates who didn't rest until our state took commonsense action to prevent gun trafficking. This bipartisan law is a long-overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands, to make sure that we license gun shops just like restaurant and other businesses, and deter straw purchases, so that we can prevent someone from buying a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to own a gun.

The legislation requires gun shops to provide annual training to employees and have video surveillance in gun stores. They must also be open for inspection by state police and local law enforcement. 

"Gun violence is a complex problem, and no one law will solve it," said Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th), who sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate. "But we know that other states that have enacted similar laws to this one have seen a reduction in guns used in crimes. I am grateful to Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation into law."

The Illinois State Rifle Association responded to Thursday's signing with the following statement:

"The state licenses for gun dealers measure was passed in the previous General Assembly but was never sent to Governor Rauner because 2nd Amendment rights opponents knew he would veto it. Political gamesmanship like this is just a typical day in Illinois politics. The Illinois State Rifle Association is deeply disappointed in the action taken today, but is certainly not surprised.

The federal government already licenses gun dealers. There is no need to add yet another layer of bureaucracy on gun dealers. The only thing this measure is going to do is make it cost more money for gun dealers to do business in Illinois, which is going to hurt the smaller  dealers.

The action taken today is another assault on our 2nd Amendment rights. Nothing in this bill is going to enhance public safety in Illinois.

The only thing that is being accomplished here is the creation of a bureaucratic nightmare for gun dealers. Rest assured, we will be challenging this new law in court."

Senator Dale Fowler, of Harrisburg, says the new law unfairly targets small gun dealers:

While I can recognize the efforts from the new Administration to act swiftly to address gun violence in our state, I cannot support a measure that unfairly targets small gun dealers and fails to address some of the fundamental factors that contribute to gun crimes. The demands of Senate Bill 337 upon our firearm dealers are costly, leaving me to question how we can expect the smaller gun sellers of our state—just like the ones that operate here in Southern Illinois—to afford this bill. Duplicative and unaffordable regulation isn’t the answer.

Republican State Representative Terri Bryant of Murphysboro calls the bill "probably the most notorious piece of legislation among gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in Illinois":

The new law creates a new fee and additional licensing regulations for businesses that do the majority of their business selling guns and ammunition. This law will require gun dealers to have a state license for the owner, a state license for the dealer, and possibly a local license in addition to the federal license that is already required. The bill also allows for local governments to impose additional requirements on gun dealers. It is really an over-reach and a doubling of regulations on small businesses and law-abiding people.

Republican State Representative Dave Severin, of Benton says he voted against the bill:

Once it takes effect, SB 337 will now create new licensing costs and regulations for small, independent gun dealerships. Back when it was a bill, the legislation became probably the most infamous piece of legislation among gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in Illinois. Some quick research on shows that the bill drew more than 4,000 opponents on the record when it was presented to the House Judiciary Committee. That is a major mobilization of law-abiding gun owners and dealers.

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