Illinois governor signs gun dealer licensing bill

Illinois governor signs gun dealer licensing bill
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a bill on Thursday that will require gun dealers and shops to be regulated and certified by the state.

The bill bans retailers from selling guns without certification and allows the state to gather information on private sales and illegal gun transfers.

Illinois is the 16th state to have such a law, and Pritzker signed a bill that his GOP predecessor had vetoed.

The new law means that gun stores will be required to be licensed through  by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and submit that license to the Illinois State Police, including an affidavit confirming their license is valid.

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The certification would cost retailer a maximum of $1,500, according to The Chicago Tribune.

"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,” Pritzker said in a statement.

The gun violence prevention measure is the second bill Pritzker signed into law since his Monday inauguration.

His Republican predecessor, Gov. Bruce Rauner, vetoed the bill in the spring after it was approved by lawmakers in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting last year.

Rauner said it was “duplicative” of federal government licenses already required for firearms retailers and would “do little to improve public safety.” 

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said in a statement to The Tribune that the group is threatening to file a lawsuit because “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,” he said. “Rest assured, we will be challenging this new law in court.”