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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.


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  1. Ok, so he chose not to poke another hole in the Titanic, and even then only perhaps because of petty party politics. Let’s not lionize the guy.

    • Their *really* needs to be a law that unless you have 100 hours of experience as a lawmaker, you cannot *be* a lawmaker…

      • Is there *any* chance *whatsoever* that part of the law could have been held up to legal challenge?

        Because that’s bone-stock boilerplate Kurt Vonnegut ‘Catch 22’ bullshit right *there*…

  2. Of course Chicago has a revolving door justice system. How do you think the politicians and cops in that city get their big pensions? They need the pushers on the streets to pull in the drug money, then have their US reps increase funding for the city’s anti drug task force.

    Anyway, Springfield and Rock River are still shit.

      • I owned two SA XDs and one RRA lower (registered as an SBR) when the story broke. I have no plans to sell or destroy them, because SA and RRA already have the money. But I’m definitely not buying from either of them again.

      • Not one, but several we’re on the near term consideration list. A potential new customer no longer.

  3. Well good…I’m not happy with his sanctuary state or his support for baby murder but I may vote for him in the general election. The bill was meant to destroy small gunshops in Illinoisistan. I’m happy his former buddy Tiny Dancer© is stamping his ballerina feet😄😄😄

    • I was under the impression that if you were not a “Store Front” FFL you were excepted. Also the licencing was down to $1000 for 5 years. At that point no licencing agency wanted to touch it, not enough funding for the work involved.

      • The harrassment and draconion requirements are worse than any monetary concerns.. A LGS(who’s been around forever-Pelcher’s) stated he would not comply and would close. I’ve done several Indiana transfers through them. The goal is no dealers…

      • Actually, the only exceptions were for manufacturer SOTs and FFLs that do less than 10% of gross in firearms. (aka big box stores) The big box exception is permanent, the SOT is only for SOTs active as of the passage of the bill.

  4. To everyone who dumps on SA and RRA: How many of you are Retailers? We still sell them because our customers still buy them.

    • I’m friends with the owner of the main LGS in my town. Both brands still sell well according to him. As I said the other day, these kind of things might hurt companies to some degree or another but they are very unlikely to kill the company so long as the company makes a good product.

      The truth is that mostly, outside Illinois, basically no one cares about this bill or SA/RRA’s involvement with this bill. In fact, most people are not aware of the existence of the bill in the first place.

      I brought this up over the weekend with some friends as we shot pool. They’re all pretty hardcore 2A people so their response surprised me to some degree. Most of them hadn’t heard anything about the bill until I brought it up. Once I did and explained the situation so that they could form an opinion they mostly expressed basically the same sentiment which was “Who cares? The people of Illinois made their bed. Let them lie in it. At worst these companies might have helped square the corners but ultimate blame rests with the voters of Illinois”.

      To be fair: Of course this is anecdotal and I tend to associate with people who generally think the way that I do so that might have something to do with it.

      • You pretty well nailed it, we are about 4 hours from them in Iowa, so customers know of RRA but don’t care about it’s politics.

    • I noticed that the “boycott” of their products that was supposed to cause the companies great pain and result in substantially reduced prices for their products never materialized. Still selling for the same prices they were, what is it now, a year ago?

      • SA, no great deals. RRA does has some pretty decent weekly deals.
        We have no skin in the IL game so if a customer wants it, we will get it. So sue me.

        • Yup, one should buy what one wants, not stand on any principles. Principles are so boring.

    • I think the U.S. firearms enthusiasts who have a deeper interest in these sorts of things are likely not in the majority. Same goes for TTAG readers.

      As for Rahm: “This failure will be his legacy.” Heh. Pot, meet kettle.

    • What does being a retailer have to do with it? Their politics stopped me from buying an XDS last year, and it took the M1A off my wish list. Your role as a retailer is certainly not going to influence me to abandon my principles as the consumer.

  5. Wow. I am pleasantly surprised.

    Good on him for this decision.

    Maybe his brain will be changed on other issues affecting the good people of Illinois.

  6. We had a bill die in our State that was not as onerous, but still a step back. The Anti-gunners are in it for the long haul, and I am sure we’ll see them both in the 2019 session, especially after some other dipstick goes ballistic in a defense free zone.

    • There are at least 10 pending in California right now, maybe more by now, the majority of which will pass. One will greatly expand the number of people who can request GVROs (or EVROs) from close family members living with the affected individual to employers and school personnel. Another seeks to ban ALL semiautomatic rifles (which is actually a rerun from another bill that didn’t make it through in 2016). If it wasn’t for Wrenn v. D.C., we would likely have a bill revoking a sheriff’s discretion in issuing CCWs, and require all applicants to show the same level of extreme necessity that the D.C. law did (i.e., the same level of need required in SF and LA, etc.). There are so many it is hard to keep track of them. What we will NOT see is a bill to arm teachers, not after they banned all licensed firearms carriers from all campuses except LEO.

      • Why would California and the dreaded ‘9th Circus’ even give a wet slap about Wrenn v. D.C.?

        Isn’t it the the Leftist consensus to ignore the DC decision and not make any waves, since SCOTUS is currently ignoring the 2A?

        Why would Wrenn stop Cali from going their usual ‘Full Nazi’ on the 2A?

  7. Well, this is a nice sign. If he vetoes this, none of the other bills this session stand a chance. I still won’t vote for him in the primary, but if he manages to squeeze through a nomination, he can have my vote in the general.

  8. “a minimum number of hours of experience selling firearms (100) for the licensee.”

    Am I reading this right? In order to legally sell firearms in the state, you would need to provide evidence of 100 hours of experience selling firearms? How does that work?

    In order to open a gun store, you’d have to work as an employee at a competitor’s store full time for 2 and a half weeks?

    • Doesn’t have to make sense. As a matter of fact, they’re often happier if it doesn’t make sense.

      Once it’s law – harder to attack a law that dosn’t make sense with any kind of logic.

      Treating it like it was a pest-control license. Have to work for someone else for some time before opening your own store.

      Politician…..gotta love em.

  9. If Gov. Rauner loses in the general election next fall and the lib’tards’ get their “boy” JB Prits”F**k” into the governors seat ….you can bet next year the same kind of bill will be sitting on ‘ol JB’s desk waiting for a signature…..we have just dodged a bullet for now.

  10. So the one bit of good news in the past two weeks. Hey, I’m happy he did. And kudos for making the right decision.

    Maybe just maybe we might start getting a good pro gun pushback legislatively against all this bullshit.

  11. Corruption always wins . NRA pays big time contributions to politicians all over the country and like Bruce Rauner. To avoid these bills while our chidren keep getting killed in schools. Ask yourself this question…… Are you a father or mother of children?

    • Oh, you’re adorable… Tell me more about how Rauner should have signed a bill 90% of the state outside Crook County doesn’t support.

      I also like the idea that worthless commie vermin like you think they can take my property. You’re welcome to try.

    • Ask yourself who enacted gun free zones… Geez I’m sick of this bullshit from lefties… Its the democrats fucking fault these kids died period! In this day and age of the violent asshole copycat the asshole democrat party do the stupidest logic defying shit and blame everyone else for their fuckups… If you are a democrat and a fudd or anti 2A here’s the middle finger and a right cross assholes!!! Were not giving up shit to you commie pieces of crap.. BTW you aren’t legal American citizens if you are anti 2A.. Its all or nothing!!! Move out of America!!! 2A stays you leave!!!!

    • Why, yes, I am, and I sleep very well at night knowing the NRA, the SAF, and GOA are on the job. FLAME DELETED.

  12. With retirement coming in less that 3 years, I am forced to live in the People’s Democratic Republic of Illinois for a while longer. Thank you Governor Rauner for the veto. Guess I’ll have to vote for you in the coming election.

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