Yesterday the Illinois Senate passed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. This bill is being sent to the Illinois House for concurrence, so it is not yet law. The Gun Dealer Licensing Act will force mom and pop gun shops out of business and will also create redundant licensing, since gun dealers are already licensed per federal law. The gun dealer licensing act would also limit how many firearms the private individual may transfer per year and also contains a carve out for manufacturers and big box gun corporate gun stores – forcing an unfair burden on small gun stores in Illinois.
If this bill passes out of the house, it will move onto Gov. Bruce Rauner. Many gun owners in Illinois hope, or even expect, that Rauner will veto this bill. Assuming this bill passes the house, this will be Rauner’s first real test on his stance for gun rights. Let us hope he does the right thing and blocks this terrible bill!
When we examine the witness slips to see which individuals and what organizations oppose or support any given bill, we see that the Illinois Firearm Manufacturer’s Association (IFMA) was neutral on the bill. In other words, they were not opposed to a bill that could potentially have a major effect on the operations of their group members. IFMA group members were offered a carve out, however, which is why IFMA dropped their opposition. The carve out would not place the same burden on many of IFMA’s members as it would on smaller “mom and pop” gun shops. Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms are major financial contributors to IFMA, and therefore are taking the brunt of the backlash for the lack of opposition from IFMA.
Later, Springfield Armory CEO released a statement which said in part that, “Will defend the 2nd Amendment,” however when given the opportunity to oppose an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding Illinois gun owners, the stance of IFMA was neutral. Nothing short of opposition to this bill is not defending the 2nd Amendment.
Update: Also see…