Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed SB 1657 today. That’s the bill that would have mandated state licensing of all gun dealers in the state, not to mention requiring . . .
Licensing fees, a minimum number of hours of experience selling firearms (100) for the licensee, a qualifying examination for licensees, training and “continuing education” for both licensees and employees and “appropriate security measures” — including video of all transactions and firearms storage areas.
How fun (not to mention expensive) would that have been?
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Rauner said that Senate Bill 1657, which had been on his desk for nearly two weeks, “created onerous, duplicative bureaucracy that does little to improve public safety.”
Huh. We thought that was pretty much the purpose of government where gun control legislation is concerned. Anyway, the bill had passed the house and senate with far fewer votes than would be necessary for a veto override, so 1657 seems to be well and truly dead.
Rauner said…that laws should be tougher on repeat gun offenders. To make schools safer, Rauner suggested “highly trained, highly well-armed security personnel at our schools who are very, very talented and able to protect our students.”
That’s just kooky talk, particularly in the Land o’ Lincoln. The good news is that by vetoing the bill, Rauner ruined the day for everyone’s favorite mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
In a statement on Tuesday, Emanuel said: “With one week left in his campaign, Governor Rauner just put his primary election ahead of his primary responsibility to protect the safety of the people of Chicago and Illinois. The governor’s decision was cruel, it was cold and it was calculated to benefit his own politics at the expense of public safety. This veto is a slap in the face to crime victims, faith leaders and police who have pleaded with Governor Rauner to protect public safety by signing the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. This failure will be his legacy.”
Somehow Mayor Rahm neglected to address his city’s notoriously lax, revolving door criminal justice system, which poses a clear and present danger to his city’s population.
No doubt breathing sighs of relief at the news of SB 1657’s downfall are Springfield Armory’s Dennis Reese and Rock River Arms’ Chuck Larson. It was their influence, exerted through the now defunct Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association, which they controlled, that cleared a legislative path for the gun dealer licensing bill in exchange for a carve-out for their companies.
Once their role in moving the bill forward was exposed, both companies worked to defeat SB1657. But the die had been cast and the bill had sufficient support in the anti-gun Illinois house to pass it and put in on Governor Rauner’s desk.
So, bullet dodged. So to speak. For now. But as far as the Illinois legislature is concerned, there’s plenty more where that came from.