* This is happening as I’m putting together this post…
Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to sign a bill Thursday that would give the state more oversight over Illinois gun dealers, after Democrats kept the paperwork off former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk in order to avoid a veto during his administration’s final days.
The proposal would require firearm stores to get state licenses, a move that supporters contend could reduce gun violence because federal regulators are stretched too thin to adequately handle all the shops operating in Illinois.
Pritzker is set to sign it into law at a Chicago elementary school Thursday morning. Lawmakers approved it last year in the wake of the killing of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer and the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation, so when I introduced it a decade and a half ago, I thought we would be celebrating this day much sooner,” Democratic state Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park, the proposal’s sponsor, said. “But important causes are worth fighting for, and I am proud to stand with the countless advocates and supporters who have stuck with us for all these years.”
* Illinois State Rifle Association…
The state licenses for gun dealers measure was passed in the previous General Assembly but was never sent to Governor Rauner because 2nd Amendment rights opponents knew he would veto it. Political gamesmanship like this is just a typical day in Illinois politics. The Illinois State Rifle Association is deeply disappointed in the action taken today, but is certainly not surprised.
The federal government already licenses gun dealers. There is no need to add yet another layer of bureaucracy on gun dealers. The only thing this measure is going to do is make it cost more money for gun dealers to do business in Illinois, which is going to hurt the smaller dealers.
The action taken today is another assault on our 2nd Amendment rights. Nothing in this bill is going to enhance public safety in Illinois. The only thing that is being accomplished here is the creation of a bureaucratic nightmare for gun dealers. Rest assured, we will be challenging this new law in court.
* GPAC sent this out in advance…
Today Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 337, the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act, as one of his first official acts in office. With that signature, families of victims killed by illegally obtained guns can find peace of mind knowing that lives will be saved by SB 337 becoming the law of the land in Illinois.
The bill gives state authorities and law enforcement the tools to require better business practices among federally licensed gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable in the state to keep guns away from criminals. The signing comes after Governor Rauner recently vetoed a similar bill even after lawmakers and the overwhelming majority of residents across the state called for him to approve it.
“We are thrilled that Governor Pritzker fulfilled his promise to protect children and families in Illinois from gun violence by signing SB 337 into law,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC). “Members of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, especially the parents who have found the strength to turn their unimaginable grief into action, worked tirelessly to fight for its passage. We are grateful to our legislators, notably our bill sponsors Sen. Don Harmon and State Representative Kathleen Willis, who came together in support of this effort. Our streets, communities and families will be safer now that SB 377 is now the law of the land.”
In 2015, as a result of the increasing number of people being killed by gun violence, G-PAC and Giffords joined forces with a broad, statewide, bi-partisan coalition of organizations, advocates and elected officials around a common goal: to help rid Illinois of hundreds of illegal guns that each year end up on our streets and in the hands of those looking to do harm.
G-PAC and the Coalition were responsible for the Our One Job campaign: a historic strategic and targeted social media campaign developed to educate the public about gun violence in Illinois. The campaign reached 4.1 million people and engaged over 62,000 individuals. It was responsible for tens of thousands of contacts — phone calls, emails, petition signatures, social media shares and in-person visits to lawmakers. It was the first time that gun violence prevention contacts outnumbered contacts from gun lobby groups into lawmaker offices.
From 2013 to 2016, 40 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from negligent gun dealers within Illinois, according to the 2017 Gun Trace Report. The new measure will require the Illinois State Police to certify dealers and enacts provisions to better record and track private sales. Several key provisions are:
· Requiring criminal background checks for gun dealer employees
· Training and education for gun dealer employees so our criminal background check system can work better
· Giving Law enforcement the authority to inspect inventories, ensuring gun dealers are held accountable for missing firearms
· Increasing security and public safety by requiring video surveillance for brick and mortar, gun dealer locations
This post will be updated.
…Adding… Governor’s office…
Surrounded by gun violence survivors, prevention advocates, community leaders and elected officials who have worked for years to require licenses for gun dealers, today Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 337 to combat the scourge of illegal gun trafficking, finally making Illinois the 16th state to require gun dealers to be certified by the state after more than a decade of work.
“Gun violence isn’t an issue facing one city, or one region, or one group of people — it affects us all, and I want to thank all those tireless advocates who didn’t rest until our state took commonsense action to prevent gun trafficking,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This bipartisan law is a long-overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands, to make sure that we license gun shops just like restaurant and other businesses, and deter straw purchases, so that we can prevent someone from buying a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to own a gun.”
The gun violence prevention measure is the second bill Gov. Pritzker signed into law since taking office Monday. SB 337 creates two acts that allow the state to regulate gun dealers and gather information on private sales and illegal gun transfers.
The Firearm Dealer License Certification Act requires any gun dealer in the State of Illinois be certified by the Illinois State Police (ISP). State-licensed dealers are required to provide annual training to employees, have video surveillance in gun stores, and be open for inspection by ISP and local law enforcement.
The Gun Trafficking Information Act requires ISP to publish key information related to crime-related firearms and imposes penalties on individuals who fail to maintain a record of a private sale.
With the federal government failing to effectively regulate gun dealers, state licensing will hold gun dealers responsible while the state takes action to reduce the tragic gun violence that affects so many communities.
“Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for taking action to stop the gun violence,” said Delphine Cherry, a mother of two victims of gun violence. “27 years ago today, I lost my daughter Tyesa to gun violence committed by a 14-year-old who had an illegal gun. Twenty years later, my son Tyler was murdered three days before Christmas. Since I lost Tyesa and Tyler to gun violence, I have made it my mission to make sure no other parent has to join the worst club that I belong to: the club of parents who have lost their children to gun violence. This bill will make sure gun dealers are held accountable and stop them from illegally selling guns like the one used to kill my daughter.”
“It only took Governor Pritzker four days - not four years - to realize that if the state can license a barber shop or a liquor store, we can license gun dealers,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I commend Governor Pritzker for prioritizing this important public safety measure that will reduce the number of illegal guns on our streets and allow the Chicago police to further crack down crime.”
“Gun violence is a complex problem, and no one law will solve it,” said Sen. Don Harmon (D-39th), who sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate. “But we know that other states that have enacted similar laws to this one have seen a reduction in guns used in crimes. I am grateful to Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation into law.”
“This bipartisan law will not harm any gun dealer that operates in good faith, but it does ensure accountability for dealers that fail to make efforts to keep guns from falling into the hands of criminals,” said Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-77th), who sponsored the measure in the Illinois House. “I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and Governor Pritzker for their support on this important measure.”
“As one of his first official acts to sign the gun dealer licensing bill, this speaks volumes about the Governor’s commitment and passion to help Chicago reduce gun violence,” said Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “The tools provided in this legislation to state and local police will significantly help our ability to regulate gun dealers and monitor and interdict the illegal flow of guns into cities like Chicago.”
“Gun violence is prevalent in too many neighborhoods and communities throughout the state, my own included. We must take a comprehensive approach to addressing the level of violence in Illinois, and that includes stopping the flow of guns trafficked into Illinois,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “I would like to thank Governor Pritzker for making commonsense licensing one of the first new laws he enacts as governor.”
“In 2018, the most prosecuted offense by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was the unlawful use of a weapon,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “It is past time that we do more to keep illegal firearms off of our streets and today’s signing of SB 337 is a step in the right direction. I look forward to a continued partnership with the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker on sensible legislation to make Cook County safer.”
“It’s time to consider our moral obligation to our communities,” said Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson. “Our highest priority must be keeping our children free of gun violence. Senate Bill 337 puts that extra layer of protection in place to keep us all safe.”
* Senate sponsor…
Sixteen years after State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) first introduced similar legislation, Gov. JB Pritzker today signed his measure requiring gun dealers to be certified by the state.
“When I first introduced a version of this bill in 2003, I thought we would be having this celebration a little sooner,” Harmon said. “This bill will help, but there’s more work to be done. I ask all of our dedicated supporters to remain in this fight.”
The Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act contains provisions to better record and track private gun sales. It treats all firearm licensees the same, regardless of their size. It requires the Illinois State Police, rather than the state agency that regulates professions and occupations, to certify gun dealers.
Additional provisions in the bipartisan proposal include:
· requiring gun dealers to safely store firearms at all times,
· requiring gun dealers to make copies of FOID cards or IDs and attach them to documentation detailing each gun sale,
· requiring employees to undergo annual training about the law and responsible business practices, and
· requiring gun dealers to open their place of business for inspection by state and local police.
Harmon’s district includes portions of the West Side of Chicago, an area that has been plagued with gun violence for years. As of Dec. 23, the Chicago Police Department reported 555 homicides in Chicago in 2018.
“Gun violence is a complex problem, and no one law will solve it,” Harmon said. “But we know that other states that have enacted similar laws to this one have seen a reduction in guns used in crimes. I am grateful to Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation into law.”
* The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America…
“This is an important step forward for Illinois,” said Lauren Quinn, volunteer chapter leader with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “These are smart, focused measures to prevent gun trafficking - and do so while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners and sellers. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who worked to make this possible, particularly Sen. Harmon, Rep. Willis, Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition.”