Illinois Firearms Dealer Licensing Bill Requires Video Cameras in Gun Dealers’ Bathrooms

Maxon Shooter's Supply in Des Plaines, IL


By Dan Eldridge

Just like a bad rash, SB1657, Firearms Dealer Licensing has come back before the Illinois General Assembly during this short session. Nothing has changed with respect to how poorly written or widely unpopular this bill is. In an effort to win over some support in the House, Illinois Senator Don Harmon . . .

who birthed this mess in the first place, brought a trailer bill to the floor of the senate without a public hearing. His SB333 proposes capping fees and deferring enactment of some of the provisions of SB1657. Unsurprisingly, it also casts FFL’s into a kafkaesque world by requiring video surveillance where existing law forbids it.

SB333 mandates:

that location shall be equipped with a video
4 surveillance system sufficient to monitor the critical areas of
5 the business premises, including, but not limited to, all
6 places where firearms are stored, handled, sold, transferred,
7 or carried. The video surveillance system shall operate without
8 interruption whenever the licensee is open for business.

Here at Maxon, we carry in the bathroom. Some may even handle their firearms in the bathroom (despite best practices). So to be in compliance with the proposed law, we will have to videotape what happens our bathrooms. Swell.

Perhaps Senator Harmon can reconcile this requirement with the existing Illinois privacy law forbidding any videotaping in bathrooms and changing rooms. He was, after all, chief co-sponsor of that legislation in 2004.

It’s urgent that all Illinois residents contact their state rep and state senator to oppose SB1657 and SB333. You can contact them here:

Dan Eldridge is the owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range in Des Plaines.


  1. avatar John Boch says:

    Once again, Progressive Democrats more concerned with what happens in public restrooms than making good public policy.

  2. avatar strych9 says:

    He didn’t know because he’s not very bright (I’m guessing) and when it’s brought to his attention he won’t care. The point of the bill is to put all the smaller stores in a position where they cannot survive. “You can’t get there from here” ensnarements like this are a feature rather than a bug.

    If you want things like this to change stop electing idiots like Mr. Harmon.

  3. avatar DrewR says:

    If Springfield Armory wants any chance at redemption they ought to throw a few million out to oppose this legislation ASAP.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Springfield who?

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Yikes! Perverts in the men’s(and women’s!) room. Way to go Illini demtards. I will contact SOMEBODY. MY reps are lowlife dumbocrats😡😫😢

  5. avatar Joe R. says:

    The evil (D) are pervs.

  6. avatar joetast says:

    Ohh hha didn’t even read, past cameras in bathrooms, hahaalol ….. So gubment wants to look at my gun, piss off”

  7. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Illinois Firearms Dealer Licensing Bill Requires Video Cameras in Gun Dealers’ Bathrooms”

    Sorry, can’t do it, 4th Amendment violation…

  8. avatar DaveL says:

    Why would they reconcile it with existing law when they can just pass a law that can’t be complied with? I mean, does anybody actually believe this is meant to do anything but criminalize and harass gun dealers?

  9. avatar SteveO says:

    Well, I would certainly have some fun with this requirement to the letter of the law. It doesn’t state that the cameras can’t be observing a static centerfold picture, or a picture of a middle finger 6″ from the camera lens with full field of view occupied by said image(s) during all operating periods. Just need to be creative. (Just to be clear, I do not agree with establishing any laws such as this).

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ” It doesn’t state that the cameras can’t be observing a static centerfold picture,…”

      Play games like that and watch them come down on you with a ton of legal bricks, citing something along the lines of “deliberate failure to comply with the spirit of the law” or something.

      Crap like that law has to be counter-attacked on the legal battlefield.

      Is this a potential privacy violation the ACLU might be of assistance?

    2. avatar fiundagner says:

      Actually it does state that the last time i looked at the law. The video cameras have to be set up in such a way they record the faces f the parties involved, and if i remember right it has to be high definition digitial video or something to that effect. Thats one of the things that will drive people out of business, the expense of store tetrabytes of both the video data and the backups. And thats tetrabytes per day

      1. avatar fiundagner says:

        2min 22sec standard definition video recording using my phone 342mb. Roughly 2.4 mb/sec/camera. 8 hours of video per camera comes up to about 70 gigabytes per camera per day. Dont know how much more memory high def video takes up. But the dealers are responsible for storing the video and backups for 10 years if i remember correctly. I dont know how much memory costs but over ten years it adds up

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Poking around I find that a 16 bay NAS is, as cheap as I can find for a decent one, about $1500.

          Currently the best price I can find on serious storage runs $405 or so for 10TB. So if there are no bulk discounts involved you would get 1600TB of storage for ~$7980 plus applicable taxes, shipping etc.

          If my back-o-the-envelope arithmetic is correct you’d get about 14.29 business days worth of video per TB, or 142.9 business days per drive. So that rig would give you on the order of 2286.4 business days (which is 6.26 business years) before it was full.

          Of course you probably wouldn’t buy that all the drives at once but due to technical limitations and other parts of the law you still need to back up all that video, which if you’re smart means you compress it, which means you need a computer to do that and more storage space so you can keep the duplicates separate. You’re also going to need to acquire numerous other drives over time to comply with the 10 year rule.

          All in all I’d say to do it “right” is probably an up front cost of around $8000-$10,000 (probably a bit more) for the required storage. That doesn’t cover cameras, installation, compliance or anything else, just the hardware for storage.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          *Note: those numbers are per camera. So multiply all that by the number of cameras to find your true storage requirement.

        3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Nah, you’d just pay for an Amazon or Google or Microsoft cloud storage account and store it there. That way you don’t have to administer all that hardware, and offsite storage is better for security anyway.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          What’s the cost for thousands of terabytes accessed and added to every day? Probably A LOT.

          Amazon’s “Glacier” storage (very infrequently accessed) would cost you something like $9600 for a dozen cameras worth of space at the ten year mark. For more frequent access instead of being $0.04/Gb is like $0.21/Gb, that comes out to like $50,400 worth of fees for year ten.

          Simply put the amount of data that they’re insisting be generated is insane.

          Truth be told I’m not even sure a company like Amazon would let you do this. Their pricing structure stops at 500TB. 500TB with a dozen cameras gets you something like 1.63 years of video, 16.3% of the requirement.

        5. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Does the proposed bill define the quality and framerate?

          VCD/VHS quality at 1 fps should be adequate and save alot on storage.

  10. avatar Geoff PR says:

    If the law is passed (as will likely happen), realistically, then what?

    Do stores refuse to video record bathrooms citing existing privacy law?

    Do stores record bathroom activities and then sue the state?


    1. avatar frmrdav says:

      I don’t think it’s given that it will pass. If so, not by a veto over-riding majority. Then we just have to hope that Rino Rauner does the right thing.

  11. avatar fiundagner says:

    It really is a feature not a bug. Either they can sue the dealer out of existence for not complying with the new law or sue them and tack on criminal charges for not complying with the old law

  12. avatar John in TX (Was CT) says:

    “The video surveillance system shall operate without interruption whenever the licensee is open for business.”

    This translates to “We trust the people who enter the premises illegally when it’s not open more than those that go through proper legal channels”

    What a world.

  13. avatar Docduracoat says:

    The most objectionable part of the law was the limit on citizens only allowed 9 firearms transactions per year
    That is sales AND purchases
    Even California allows 12 per year!

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    Bathroom cameras sounds like Kevin Spacey’s wet dream.

  15. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    That seems like a tad more than “licensing.”

    What can we do to get a “truth in labeling” requirement for proposed laws? Law is a product, right? Since guns are a “public health” issue — I keep getting told this — maybe the FDA could start regulating claims made for gun laws.

  16. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    I cannot believe our perve-y Ill-D friends had to legislate to get “content” for their kink. Have they not heard of the interwebz? If it exists in meatspace, there’s porn for it already.

    It does bring a whole new meaning to “gun porn.”

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