Today, the Illinois Senate passed an amended version of Senate Bill 1657 by a 30-21 vote. As amended, SB 1657 would exempt big box stores from its restrictions.
SB 1657 creates an onerous gun dealer licensing scheme within the state. While the purported intent of this legislation was to enhance “responsible business practices,” this proposed legislation only proves that the intention is to close as many federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) as possible. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) licenses and closely monitors all FFLs and strictly enforces any infringement of federal law. SB 1657 goes far beyond federal law in its mandatory regulations and red tape imposed at the state level that it would almost assuredly force the closure of most firearm dealers, and prevent prospective owners from opening new ones. This legislation seeks to create so many department divisions, anti-gun 5-member licensing boards, and licensing fees that dealers would be forced to close through oversight by anti-gun appointees or being priced out of business.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as this legislation progresses through the legislative process.