On Tuesday, March 13th Governor Rauner vetoed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which would have increased the regulation of gun dealers in Illinois. The act would have required all gun dealers in Illinois to be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, instead of just by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The act would have also required criminal background checks and training for all gun shop employees in an effort to increase gun store safety and security.
The Governor’s veto comes as a major disappointment, after advocates and lawmakers have pushed for this bill to be passed by both chambers in wake of the Florida Parkland High School mass-shooting. Despite dedicated efforts by many advocate groups, such as the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, the bill did not become law. In vetoing the bill Rauner said it created “onerous, duplicative bureaucracy that does little to improve public safety.”
However, the gun dealer licensing act does aim to improve the public’s safety by identifying straw purchasers and slowing the sale of guns to criminals in Chicago and throughout the State. It’s intention is to ensure that proper regulation and security measures are in place so that legally purchased guns do not fall in the hands of criminals and that all gun dealers have the proper safety practices in place.
There is still a chance for the Gun Dealer Licensing Act to become law if the Senate overrides the Governor’s veto. To help override the veto you can email your State Senator and express your support through the Illinois Coalition Against Handgun Violence.