One of the first bills JB Pritzker signed into law when he became Governor was the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act, which created new, duplicative licensing costs and overly-burdensome regulations for gun dealers throughout Illinois. Downstate legislators and Second Amendment supporters fought the bill with vigor, claiming the new costs and regulations would drive many small, independent gun shops out of business. Now, 13 months later, nearly half of Illinois’ gun dealers have chosen to close their doors rather than pay for duplicative licenses, expensive surveillance equipment, and other compliance mandates.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) said this is just another way to hurt small business owners in Illinois and to make it more difficult for lawful gun owners to purchase and sell firearms in Illinois. In response, Bourne has filed a bill that would still address issues with gun dealers who are selling guns used in the commission of crimes, while also protecting the lawful gun shop owners.
“I recently filed House Bill 5032, which seeks to amend the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act,” said Bourne. “It essentially takes away the secondary, duplicative state licensing requirement from honest, law-abiding gun dealers, and provides that the extra layer of licensing and regulation only to shops that have sold guns illegally, or that have sold guns used in the commission of crimes. It’s a common-sense remedy that allows additional scrutiny over bad actors, while removing the provisions from gun shop dealers who were previously in full compliance with federal regulations.”
Bourne called the original legislation an extreme overreach into the Constitutional right of Illinoisans to keep and bear arms. “The implementation of the Act presented an undue hardship for the small, mom-and-pop gun shops,” Bourne said. “And it is just one more example of Chicago politicians pushing solutions to their problems onto communities throughout the state. The provisions of the Act may make sense for the City of Chicago, but for downstate communities like the ones I represent, that law devastated an industry filled with honest, hardworking people.”
The bill remains in House Speaker Madigan’s Rules Committee and has not yet been assigned to a substantive committee for a hearing.