By now you’re heard about the now-defunct Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association, solely owned and operated by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms. IFMA dropped their opposition to the bill in exchange for a carve-out for gunmakers. Les we forget . . .
the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) also went neutral in exchange for their own carve-out for big box stores. That’s right: IRMA took no position to the bill after it was amended to exclude stores generating less than 20 percent of their sales in firearms.
Who is IRMA? From the IRMA website’s homepage:
IRMA is your statewide professional organization. No matter what your size or kind of store, IRMA can help protect your interests in state government, save you money, and keep you informed.
I contacted Tanya Triche Dawood, the Vice-President and General Counsel for IRMA. She said IRMA’s membership list is confidential. I’ve been unable to find an independent source to identify IRMA members. If any TTAG readers have access to this information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Dawood admitted that IRMA had no smaller gun stores as members and that IRMA negotiated that exemption for their big-box store members. With that exemption in place, IRMA filed their “no position” witness slip on the gun dealer licensing bill.
If signed into law, this bill will throw almost all Illinois retail gun dealers under the bus. Well, except for the big box retailers, including members of Ms. Dawood’s organization.
While IRMA claims to represent retailers no matter the size, clearly some retailers are more equal than others among their client/member base.
This serves as one more reason to do business with your local gun shop whenever possible. The couple of extra bucks you may spend will pay big dividends in the long run.