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Gun dealer licensing bill may reboot

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sun-Times

Senate Democrats on Wednesday opted to skip an attempt to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure that would have required gun dealers to be licensed by the state — giving the governor and fellow Republicans who opposed it a glimpse of victory.

As thousands took to the streets in Springfield to support their Second Amendment rights to own guns, bill sponsor state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said he made the “difficult decision” not to ask the Senate to override the veto. Wednesday marked the last day to do so. Rauner vetoed the measure on March 13, just days ahead of the primary election.

* Harmon press release…

Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today on his decision not to call a vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“Today, I made the difficult decision not to ask the Senate to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the gun dealer licensing bill.

“While I am confident that I had the votes in the Senate to override the veto, I could not assure my colleagues that the House would vote against the governor, particularly given his vociferous and unreasonable opposition to this measure.

“In the past few days, I have had productive conversations with suburban Republican members, in particular Senator Chris Nybo, that make me believe we can create a new path to regulating gun dealers in Illinois.

“I have also recently received overtures and encouragement from unexpected and unconventional allies who can better inform our decision making as we move forward towards a successful resolution.

“While making this decision, I frequently reminded myself that ‘victory’ is not overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto or winning any other political battle in the Capitol. Victory means protecting the people we represent from the senseless violence fueled by the ready availability of guns in our communities.

“Today, I am reintroducing the substance of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act as an amendment to an existing bill, Senate Bill 337, and I will begin work immediately on gathering support for the measure.

“Licensing gun dealers at the state level is a sensible step to reduce gun violence, and I will not give up. I am sure we will enact this measure – under this administration or the next.”

Subscribers know more about this Nybo angle.

* Rauner statement

“All any father or mother really wants to know is that their family is safe. We need to focus on illegal gun trafficking, school safety, how to best keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. These are bipartisan issues that we are working on collaboratively in our Public Safety Working Group to drive real solutions. We will keep working to keep our families safe,” Gov. Rauner said in a statement Wednesday evening.

* AP

State Democrats’ hopes of overriding a veto of firearms-dealer licensing fizzled Wednesday, swamped by the inaction of a Senate and House afraid to take the vote without cover from the other. […]

But the measure’s sponsor, Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, said several of his colleagues’ commitments to vote for override were contingent on knowing that the House would follow suit. […]

“I’m pretty sure I have 68 votes without the Senate going through, but the three more members that I need,” said [Rep. Kathleen] Willis, an Addison Democrat [and House sponsor of the bill].

* Tribune

Now the thinking is that Rauner may be less inclined to reject the proposal a second time as he seeks to appeal to a wider audience ahead of a November matchup against Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker.

“When he’s looking at a general election, maybe it’s not in his best interest (to veto the bill),” said Rep. Kathleen Willis, a Democrat from Addison who is carrying the bill in the House. “So maybe we do run another bill that takes in a little more compromise on some stuff and gather a few more members. It may not be a veto-proof majority, but maybe enough that it makes the governor say, ‘In this climate, I don’t want to veto it.’” […]

Among the changes being considered is no longer exempting big box stores from state oversight, which small business owners said would put them at a disadvantage as they were less able to absorb the costs related to complying with the proposed rules.

* In related news

Gun owners gathered in the Illinois capitol Wednesday for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day as a plan to override a controversial gun control measure failed. […]

Libertarian candidate for governor Kash Jackson also spoke. He said he learned something in his 20-years of service in the military.

“The greatest threat to our constitution and to our freedoms does not lie on a foreign shore,” Jackson said. “The greatest threat to our freedoms lies in the pen of a legislator in that building right back there.”

Jackson also talked about gun ownership as “our natural, God-given right to protect ourselves, to protect our families against a tyrannical government.” And after saying that “greatest threat” stuff, he said “By, God, whatever it takes, I’m going to fight to restore freedom in this state. If it’s the last thing that I do, I will fight to restore freedom.”

* Also from the rally

Rep. Margo McDermod, R-Mokena, called Democrats “hysterical no-nothings” while Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, told rally participants that “when you’re looking at these (legislators) measure ‘em twice, what side they’re on. Make sure you hold their feet to a fire because they speak with a forked tongue.”

* Related…

* Pro-gun advocates crowd downtown Springfield for annual rally

* Gun Dealer Licensing bill will be reintroduced, override doesn’t have enough support

* Illinois Lawmakers Fail to Override Veto of Licensing Gun Shops


  1. - Texas Red - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    Harmon’s statement from yesterday points to his true motives ..”Victory means protecting the people we represent from the senseless violence fueled by the ready availability of guns in our communities.”

    So don’t believe the hype about straw buyers/illegal purchases, it is the guns themselves that Harmon opposes. He does not care if law abiding citizens want to protect themselves.

  2. - GreatPlainser - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    You know there likely is a compromise possible somewhere here…will the climate allow it though?

  3. - Anonish - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    If a Fenwick alum and an Ignatius alum can come to terms there is hope for us all.

  4. - titan - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:08 pm:

    I’m still fuzzy about what the Illinois licensing scheme would do that federal licensing doesn’t do.

    Would there be significant substantive additions from the proposed state system?

  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    titan- yes, there would be great benefits to the IL state police, they would have an excuse to construct a new permanent bureaucracy to inspect gun shops. It’s an employment act for cops to be nosey.

    Best of all (from the point of view of police everywhere) the state police will be able to walk into every gun shop in the state and demand to see the federal 4473 firearm purchase forms which show the name and address of gun owners, along with the serial number and description of the guns they bought. Awesome!

    Next hand off the gun owner profiles to local cops, so they can seize guns when “assault weapons” are banned (except for police and retired police, because they are all above the law) like in Deerfield and Highland Park. I look forward to watching the SWAT team raids and shootouts on TV when this happens.

  6. - Tequila Mockingbird - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    The true intent is to add state regulation to the already regulated FFLs, drive costs up and make it more difficult and more expensive for law abiding individuals to purchase firearms. Also to generate some additional revenue for the state to squander. It will do nothing to reduce criminal gun use.
    I’m surprised they haven’t decided we need state regulation of airlines and pilots that fly over Illinois.

  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===I look forward to watching the SWAT team raids and shootouts on TV when this happens===

    So, you’re saying there are lawful gun owners who are also potential cop murderers?

    Perhaps you need a new argument. Threatening violence against the police is not a great move.

  8. - Uncle Fondulac - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 12:42 pm:

    titan…You nailed it, this is just a political stunt to make IL citizens feel better on a hot topic.

    If the State of Illinois cannot offer anything better than Uncle Sam, it’s needless Red Tape. Plus, a political scheme for more government workers and more political contributions from those “licensed”.

  9. - Uncle Woodford - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    Even the New York Times(in 2010) found that Chicago may have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the US, but RARELY prosecutes people for violating those gun laws. “City’s Restrictive Gun Laws are Rarely Enforced” Mick Dumke, Dan Mihalopoulos, NY Times August 28 2010

    So…the question then is…Why doesn’t Chicago want to go after gun law violators? …

  10. - TheGoodLieutenant - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===So…the question then is…Why doesn’t Chicago want to go after gun law violators? …===

    Because it isn’t about the gun offender, or for that matter the “repeat gun offender”. It is about the gun, plain and simple.

  11. - NoGifts - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    The other thing it would do that the federal law doesn’t do is collect $1000 a license for the state coffers.

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    –Now the thinking is that Rauner may be less inclined to reject the proposal a second time as he seeks to appeal to a wider audience ahead of a November matchup against Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker.–

    Rauner wouldn’t flip on a hot issue solely for political reasons, would he?

  13. - Aldyth - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    Introduce the bill again in 2019 and the new governor is much more likely to sign it.

  14. - Uncle Woodford - Thursday, Apr 26, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    TheGoodLieutenant…Not sure what you mean when you say:

    Criminal Law charges people(or groups of people) with crimes against the state. Per the NYTimes, plenty of other US states/cities do go after people. A gun cannot serve a sentence or pay a fine, or respond to a subpoena. It’s an inanimate object.

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