Governor Pritzker’s recently signed Senate Bill 337, the Gun Dealer Licensing bill which places strong regulations and double licensing on businesses who sell firearms. The proponents of the legislation argued that it would weed out the gun dealers who sell guns that are used in crimes. Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) opposed the measure sighting the huge compliance costs this will impose on law-abiding gun dealers and because she believes this is ultimately aimed at reducing gun sales statewide instead of targeting the bad actors.
In response to this new law, State Representative Avery Bourne is co-sponsoring House Bill 367. This bill specifically states that the Gun Dealer Licensing law should only apply to gun dealers who are making it easier for criminals to illegally acquire firearms rather than threatening the livelihood of current law-abiding gun dealers.
Representative Bourne stated, “The Gun Dealer Licensing law does nothing to promote public safety in Illinois and punishes the many small business owners who are following current law. In our area, we are already seeing the unintended consequences of these new regulations. I am hearing from constituents who are not financially able to jump through the hoops created by this new law. These individuals have done nothing wrong and, yet, because of this law, they will be forced to close up shop. By burying these law-abiding firearm dealers in paperwork and increasing their fees and taxes, Pritzker has chosen to ignore the bad actors to score political points. We can go after the gun dealers who are selling guns that are used in crimes. We don’t have to go after the gun dealers who are following the law.”
House Bill 367 states that the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act would apply only to Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) who have been found by the federal or state government to have three or more firearms used in the commission of criminal offenses sold or transferred by the licensee within 5 years prior to the application for certification.
This legislation would protect law-abiding FFLs by concentrating efforts on stopping those that are not adhering to the current laws. According to the 2017 Gun Trace Report, there are two primary source dealers, Chuck’s Gun Shop and Midwest Sporting Goods in Cook County, who are the retail source of more than one in ten crime guns recovered in Chicago. The report also points out that nearly 60 percent of guns recovered in Chicago come from out-of-state dealers, with more than 20 percent traced back to Indiana.