On March 28th, an Illinois state House committee heard testimony on the dealer licensing bills that Governor Bruce Rauner previously vetoed as they gather support for a veto override attempt.
Senate Bill 1657, sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-39), was passed by the House with a vote of 64-52 and House Bill 1273, sponsored by Representative Kathleen Willis (D-77), was passed by the Senate with a vote of 30-23. These bills would create an onerous gun dealer licensing scheme within the state. While the purported intent of this legislation was to enhance “responsible business practices,” these bills only prove 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 violation of federal law. SB 1657 and HB 1273 go so far beyond federal law in its mandatory regulations and red tape imposed at the state level that they 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.
SB 1657 & HB 1273 go far beyond federal law and are designed to shut down as many FFLs as possible.
Your NRA-ILA will keep you updated on further developments with these bills. Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox.