Chicago, January 17, 2019 – It’s the sort of legislation Democrats in the legislature have long tried to put into law, and which supporters of the Second Amendment have long fought to block.
Today, Gov Pritzker signed a bill, SB-337, that places new regulations on gun dealers that supporters claim is going to help cut down on the criminal use of guns. It requires Illinois Gun Dealers to be certified after they’ve already been certified by the Federal government. Dealers would have to pay $1500 for certification, install video cameras, maintain a costly inventory of the video files, and hold annual training for their employees.
“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,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “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 gun violence prevention measure is the second bill Gov. Pritzker signed into law since taking office Monday. SB 337 creates two acts that allow the state to regulate gun dealers and gather information on private sales and illegal gun transfers.
- The Firearm Dealer License Certification Act requires any gun dealer in the State of Illinois be certified by the Illinois State Police (ISP). State-licensed dealers are required to provide annual training to employees, have video surveillance in gun stores, and be open for inspection by ISP and local law enforcement.
- The Gun Trafficking Information Act requires ISP to publish key information related to crime-related firearms and imposes penalties on individuals who fail to maintain a record of a private sale.
The bill was sponsored by Sen Don Harmon (D), who mentioned he first proposed this idea in 2003, and that it’s taken a lot longer to pass than he imagined and noted the very effective blocking of such legislation by groups including the Illinois Rifle Association as well as the NRA.
The Illinois State Rifle Association in a statement issued today as the Governor was signing the bill says,
“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
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.”