* From The Trace…
As a summer surge in shootings puts Chicago on track for another staggering homicide total in 2017, an innovative approach to regulating gun dealers in Illinois will wait until next year for a chance to become law. The bill is the latest casualty of the state’s tight network of pro-gun lobbyists, activists, bloggers, and firearms businesses, its sponsor said.
State Senator Don Harmon, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, shepherded the Gun Dealer Licensing Act out of the upper chamber this spring on a vote of 30-21. Up next was the state House, where his fellow Democrats hold a comfortable 67-51 majority.
OK, first of all, the Senate Democrats have a much larger majority than the House Dems. And since it barely passed the Senate, you could’ve bet right away that it would face problems in the House. And it did. The bill stalled out.
* But there’s an interesting back story…
The hard-line firearms website The Truth About Guns accused Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms, two of the primary donors to the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association, of compromising their support for gun rights in exchange for exemptions for gun makers, which under the bill aren’t subject to the same vetting as sellers. The site noted that an earlier version of the bill, then opposed by the manufacturers, had included them in the monitoring requirements.
The Illinois State Rifle Association responded with an alert to its members, claiming without evidence that the time and effort spent on the new regulation would add $150 to $300 to the cost of every weapon sold by Illinois gun shops. Harmon was labeled “an enemy of the 2nd Amendment; an enemy of the Constitution; and an enemy of the people.”
The next morning, May 1, the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action published an article echoing both the Truth About Guns missive and the statement from the Illinois State Rifle Association, stepping up the pressure on Springfield Armory and Rock River for their alleged betrayals. The NRA post lambasted as “pusillanimous” the statement by Springfield’s chief executive officer, Dennis Reese, explaining the manufacturing association’s neutrality, which proclaimed that the gun maker’s support for both the Second Amendment and gun owners, but said, “The legislative process is a fluid process….” The NRA noted that the bill’s exemptions for manufacturers would have saved each company substantial expenses that their competitors would have been obligated to pay.
Springfield Armory, a family-owned company that revived the name of the historic arms manufacturer chartered by George Washington in Springfield, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution, proved sensitive to the blowback. By 5 p.m. that day, Reese was vowing to work against the bill.
There’s more, so go read the rest.