Illinois Governor Pritzker Signs Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

Illinois Governor Signs Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

Image courtesy

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act into law yesterday. The bill enacts all manner of onerous and expensive regulations upon dealers, with up to $10,000 in civil penalties for each and every violation.

The bill’s advocates claim that Illinois gun dealers need more supervision. “40 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from negligent gun dealers within Illinois,” the group G-Pac claimed in their press release cheering the governor’s action.

Nevermind that the average “time to crime” for guns traced back to Illinois dealers in 2017 stood at 9.28 years, right at the national average of 9.3 years.

This new bill basically represents last year’s Gun Dealer Licensing Act, re-tooled to eliminate many of the largest objections of gun rights groups and squishy, supposedly pro-gun Prairie State politicians. More on that in a bit.

First this from the Chicago Tribune . . .

Minutes before Pritzker put pen to paper amid anti-violence advocates at Young Elementary School, the Illinois State Rifle Association threatened to challenge the new law in court.

“Just because we’re signing this today doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do,” Pritzker said. “But this particular bill is very important.”

Pritzker said he wants Illinois to outlaw bump stocks and trigger cranks this year, as well as put more money toward social services. But he said “I don’t know that” lawmakers would push for a ban on assault weapons this year.

Under the new law Pritzker signed Thursday, it would be illegal for retailers to sell guns without being certified by the state. To qualify, stores first must be licensed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Then, they would have to submit a copy of that license to the Illinois State Police, along with an affidavit declaring it remains valid. Shop owners would have to install surveillance equipment, maintain an electronic inventory, establish anti-theft measures and require employees to undergo annual training.

A certification would cost retailers a maximum of $1,500, and the regulations would apply to small businesses as well as big-box retailers. Sellers without a retail location would be charged $300 for certification. Supporters contend the new rules could reduce gun violence because federal regulators are stretched too thin to adequately handle all the shops operating in Illinois.

Pritzker signed the bill into law a mere four days into his term. He did following very dubious parliamentary maneuvering by Senate President John Cullerton on a bill passed in the 100th Illinois General Assembly, the previous legislative session.

Constitutionally in Illinois, when a new General Assembly session gets sworn in, all previous bills under consideration die in a legal principle known as sine die. This year, for the first time, a Governor signed into law a measure passed under the previous General Assembly. That creates constitutional questions about the legitimacy of Pritzker’s action and the law.

Furthermore, if gun control advocates have the votes to pass this measure, why do they need to resort to political chicanery to sign this bill into law?

As the Tribune noted, the Illinois State Rifle Association has threatened to fight the governor’s signature in court. I wish them the best of luck. Court actions take a lot of financial resources and time – months or even years. And even if ISRA gets a court decision striking down the measure, the current General Assembly can pass a new bill and have the governor sign it into law in a matter of days.

The good news for Illinoisans? As mentioned earlier, this latest bill deleted the worst of the worst provisions of last year’s Gun Dealer Licensing Act vetoed last year by now former-Governor Bruce Rauner. Those included much steeper fees for dealers, rationing gun owners to nine firearm transfers per year, and a formal end to private firearm transfers in the Prairie State.

The bad news for our gun dealers? This new law still has all manner of onerous provisions:

  • Up to a $10,000 civil penalty for each and every violation of any provision
  • Requires mandatory training of employees
  • Mandatory video surveillance of the entire facility, with the exception of restrooms
  • Records of the video surveillance shall be maintained for at least 90 days
  • Requires licensees sign up for an alarm monitoring service
  • Multiple signage requirements.  If one of the required signs fall off the wall or become obscured?  $10,000 civil penalty.  Make your check out to the Illinois State Police.
  • Security plans must be submitted to the Illinois State Police and there’s no set standard.  In other words, an ISP bureaucrat may deem a submitted plan “inadequate” at any time for an arbitrary reason.
  • Requirement that licensees make a photocopy of ID for each firearm transfer.  Don’t lose that copy, dealers!  Each lost ID will cost you $10,000 to the ISP.
  • Submit to random, unannounced inspections by any law enforcement agency or the Illinois State Police.  So the Chicago Anti-gun Enforcement Unit could drop in, unannounced, at a dealer in Cairo, Illinois and go through the records with a fine tooth comb.  Any violations, no matter how trivial, will cost the dealer $10,000.  Each.
  • All manner of application and ongoing paperwork requirements.  Miss filing the appropriate affidavit for a new employee, break out that checkbook.
  • Implementation of electronic-based record keeping system by 2020.  Better make sure you backup those hard drives!  Each record lost will cost you…  big bucks.

Given all the new fees and paperwork requirements in store for Illinois dealers, some estimate that half or more of Illinois Federal Firearms Licensees will surrender their licenses, putting more Illinoisans out of work.

In fact, in the latest issue of Guns Save Life’s monthly journal GunNews Magazine, two dealerships advertised their businesses for sale.

Illinois Governor Signs Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

courtesy Guns Save Life

An advertisement for a third dealer’s property and business, including a range, appeared a month or two ago in GunNews.

Before now, gun dealerships advertising themselves for sale were few and far between.

However, given the steep civil penalties for even the smallest of errors, can anyone blame them? Lose the copy of a driver’s license and pay a $10,000 fine? A sign obscured? A form not received by the ISP in a timely manner? How many dealerships can remain in business after catching two or three of those?



  1. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    I wonder when the 2A businesses will be in a position to not comply. Will it fall on POTG to lead the charge on this????

    1. avatar Never Springfield says:

      So is Springfield “Armory” laughing or crying? Most likely both.

      1. avatar Tired of Traitors says:

        Anyone buying Springfield or Rock River Armory is a traitor. This is their doing.
        I hope they end up in the poor house with their wives turning tricks on the corner for quarters. That goes double for Dennis Reese, hopefully it’s his daughter too. He’s been using her to shill his crap because nobody wants to see his seditious face. Scum, the whole damn lot!

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          always thought reese was a decent sort….maybe you know something I don’t…

    2. avatar arc says:

      I don’t recognize the legitimacy of the law, nor the oath violator that signed it.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        It won’t matter what you do or don’t recognize when all the small businesses lock their doors after being run out of business.

        1. avatar arc says:

          Closed doors on the open market is open doors on the black market.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          You can buy your machine guns cheaper on the internet, anyway, without the hassle of background checks and delivered right to your door, right? If you’re a Prime member, you can get it delivered free, before sundown, so you can be murdering your neighbors right away, without delay!

        3. avatar arc says:

          Pretty much. Its a few clicks away on a deep web market to get mail order weapons right to your door. Anyone going that route better know what they are doing and how to take precautions, otherwise, hello FBI raid.

  2. avatar Freebird says:

    Let the legal challenges begin. Start here.

    United States v. D.J. Vollmer & Co. that “the B.A.T.F. has jurisdiction over the first sale of a firearm imported to the country, but they don’t have jurisdiction over subsequent sales

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Ahem. This new law has nothing to do with the BATFE, and therefore your citation is entirely irrelevant. The law will be enforced by the Illinois State Police, which undoubtedly does have all the jurisdiction it needs to enforce state law.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        On top of which, I don’t think the case stands for the proposition that the BATFE has no jurisdiction ith respect to domestic sales. Instead, it says quite the opposite: “Although the defendants’ argument seems persuasive on its face, we agree with other courts that have considered the issue that BATF’s authority extends to the first domestic sale of a firearm imported for government use.” United States v. F.J. Vollmer & Co., 1 F.3d 1511, 1516 (7th Cir. 1993)

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        sounds like a real revenue producer…state cops should love it….

  3. avatar Shire-man says:

    Thanks Springfield.

  4. avatar mountaineer says:

    The Illinois Democrat Nazi Part at work!
    Read how the NAZIS worked their agenda to disarm law abiding citizens and let criminals run free!
    I believe states politicians in California, New York, Mass., Conn., etc. have read and are following the agenda of Hitlers regime of 1933-1945, hence making them a domestic enemy and terror group.

  5. avatar Tim Toroian says:

    The whole idea sucks but that copy of I.D. may violate current federal rules and if it doesn’t won’t get by SCOTUS.

    1. avatar TruthTellers says:

      Just wait for all the video that’s recorded has to be submitted to a gov’t agency for “monitoring” when in reality it’s all being scanned with biometric identifications to go into a database registry of those who walked out of the store with a gun.

      That is the future, no UBC or registration required.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        All Illinois firearm dealers should make sure that they have the most God-awful, lowest resolution video possible — and in black-and-white at that. In other words make sure that the video is useless to the Illinois State Police.

        1. avatar cawpin says:

          Your name is appropriate. There is an arbitrary determination of the security measures are good enough. They’ll just shut the store down.

  6. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Part of this is creating a gun buyer data base for the state to know exactly who owns what. Even though the NSA has this already, this is just a state run mini NSA intelligence operation.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Existing FOID system already is a list of potential owners. Few people will go through the trouble and expense of getting one and not actually buy a gun.

      1. avatar Binder says:

        The expense? Online form and $10 for ten years. But whatever.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Since it is so easily accepted now, how long until it is changed to $1000? Or $10,000? It has been in effect for XX years and nobody objected, so it must be fine, and we need more money and fewer guns, let’s make it $100,000!

  7. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Wait so the previous assembly passed the legislation, sent it to the governor, he vetoed it, session ends… Zombie legislation is magically discovered (though vetoed) on new governor’s desk and he signs it?

    That doesn’t seem right at all.

    So the FFLs are blamed that average 9 years later, someone stole or illegally sold a formerly legally bought gun and used it in a crime? Need more paperwork on that original, legal sale! Sounds more like the police need to go after and punish the criminals committing what is already state and federal crime… But everyone knows that already. Easier to tax the business owners.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      The factoids you will never see are 1) How much has the system cost? and 2) How many successful prosecutions have resulted? And you already have a pretty good idea of the answers.

  8. avatar Biatec says:

    Did Springfield armory and Rock river arms get a carve out for this one? Still will never buy products from them either way. Just curious.

  9. avatar grumpster says:

    Can one imagine if Illinois had a similar law about businesses hiring illegal aliens using laws already on the books with similar fines? Most illegals would self deport within a year and almost all the businesses that thrive on hiring illegals would shut down. Of course that will never happen as instead we have sanctuary cities.

    I hope this new law is challenged. I fear most of the gun stores/ranges will close down before too long if it is allowed to remain which I am sure is part of the plan. Those that remain open will have prices so high on firearms to pay for new regulations that they can not compete with online dealers. The cost of the electronic inventory system alone will put many smaller gun stores out of business. It will be interesting to see what happens with the about half a dozen gun stores that are around Chicago (Chucks, Midwest, etc) which is really what this is all about in an effort to shut them down by their increasing costs and constant harassment and also to send a warning to anyone that would even consider trying to open a gun store within Chicago city limits.

    1. avatar DJM says:

      Everyone in Illinois still must use an FFL in order to legally purchase a pistol online. The goal is to make sure that legal gun ownership is expensive and rare.

      1. avatar William McCollum says:

        Is there any jurisdiction in the United States that allows on-line purchases of pistols without going through an FFL. And don’t cite C&R pistols, because that requires an FFL03 license.

        1. avatar cawpin says:

          Across state lines, no. Any firearm purchase by a non-licensee requires it to go through an FFL in the purchaser’s home state.

          If you “purchase online” and meet somebody in your state who is selling it, there is no Federal law requiring an FFL to be involved.

        2. avatar William McCollum says:

          Just to clarify the reason for my question, I live in a state that prohibits handgun sales between non-licencees unless they go through an FFL or the transaction is handled in person at a State Police barracks. A formal NICS check is done and there is a seven-day waiting period before the buyer can take possession of the handgun. My FFL03 license allows me to have a curios and relics handgun shipped interstate directly to me, but it has no validity for intrastate transactions.

  10. avatar bilfromil says:

    Does anyone know when this crap starts?

  11. avatar M1Lou says:

    I can see it now. The law is challenged on grounds that the bill was dead from the last legislature and the new governor was not allowed to sign a dead bill. The courts will rubber stamp it as A-OK because, guns!

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    There is already a bunch of small FFL’s declaring they are going out of business/surrendering their FFL(on fakebook). I know a few local shops who may or may not comply…the aim is attacking all ILLinois gun right’s. A pox on all Dumbocrats😡

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      sounds a lot like what happened to us back in the nineties…when hilliary and bubba decreed there were too many FFL’s out there…many of the normal retail outlets cheered this action…until they came for them…

  13. avatar Ing says:

    Fines payable to the state police…so the people who enforce the new laws profit from every violation they can find (or invent). If that’s not ripe for abuse, I don’t know what is.

    1. avatar m. says:

      just like asset seizure

  14. avatar ollie says:

    This new law will not make an iota of difference in Illinois’s murder rates. Once it warms up. the killing will resume. Tracing laws are about finding deep pockets to sue when some Chiraqi puketard decides to kill another Chiraqi puketard.

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    Well, regardless of the court outcome I think Illibous can say “good bye” to most of their LGSs.

  16. avatar Busted says:

    Do not comply!

  17. avatar grumpster says:

    Crud, I was going to put a couple firearms on consignment at a small LGS but now am concerned they might close up while my stuff is on consignment.

  18. avatar John says:

    “The good news for Illinoisans? As mentioned earlier, this latest bill deleted the worst of the worst provisions of last year’s Gun Dealer Licensing Act…”

    How bad is it for Illinoisans when they should be happy about a “less bad” 2A infringing law? North Carolina has its issues but presently we don’t have to deal with BS like this. Presently is the key word and I recognize how tenuous our situation is. State organizations like the Illinois State Rifle Association, GSL and Grass Roots North Carolina are fighting everyday in the state capitals for our rights. Support them if you can.

  19. avatar cawpin says:

    I wonder how they’re going to work this out with the ATF for new FFLs. When you fill out the paperwork for an FFL you agree to have all state and local business licenses and requirements fulfilled within 30 days of the license being issued. What’s the odds of that even being possible with all these new requirements?

  20. avatar Truckman says:

    I don’t think it will hold up in court especially the copy of Ids and others parts of it

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      What is wrong with copying the IDs? You have to show ID, and the information is recorded with respect to the 4473. So what difference does it make if someone photocopies it? I don’t think that the federal law precludes stricter state laws–in fact, given the laws in NY, NJ and California, I can garontee that they do not.

  21. avatar Broke_It says:

    Rock River Arms was dogshit to begin with. I’ve shot a few of their rifles I thought were nice enough so I ordered one from my LGS. Then I waited almost 2 years on an ar-10 build that was always “on the floor” when I’d check in every few months with RRA. My FFL agreed that was a beyond unreasonable wait and was so confident the gun would never ship they applied what I had paid them to a SIG 716 that was in stock. I always wondered if they ever got that rifle as I never saw RRA in their 7.62 offerings. I used one of their NM LPK kits that was also a disappointment as I had to take a good amount of flash off of the safety as it wouldn’t allow the match trigger to release the hammer when in the fire position. Not surprised they were involved with all this nonsense, seems to fit the company nicely.

  22. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    When Tyranny Becomes Law, Resistance Is Duty.


  23. avatar james says:

    All these regulations will not stop any criminals from getting a gun for crimes.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      True, but then that was not the intent.

  24. avatar Gadsden says:

    Brought to you by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms. The two Benedict Arnolds of the gun world. I’m sure they’re both real happy right now knowing they screwed over an entire state of people.

  25. avatar FrmrDave says:

    Hells bells, I have a whole bunch of lazy assed guns. Some I’ve owned nearly 40 years and they haven’t committed a single crime.
    Where the hell do these idiots come up with shit like guns commit crime on average 9.3 years after original sale?

  26. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    not a big deal. IL probably has less than a decade as a functioning state anyways.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      sounds like a good time to be armed.

  27. avatar RGP says:

    Governor not only fabricated that number, but he also failed to mention that the other 60% of guns used in crimes are stored in the offices of Chicago aldermen and other elected officials.

  28. avatar Joe Dirt says:

    When do we get to use the 2nd Amendment as intended and march to the homes of those who voted for this and water the tree of liberty?

  29. avatar Keith Pallo says:

    when is this Civil War going to start? It is clear that 1 side has already gotten a head start!! Fighting in the courts does nothing. This is ideology and requires force to fight it! What bothers me is the number of Law enforcement officers that are knowingly violating their oaths of office and will do so gladly and with zeal!! Hmm sounds like Communist Russia and China and Nazi Germany doesn’t it??

  30. avatar fteter says:

    That’s one way to get around that pesky 2nd Amendment and that awful Interstate Commerce Clause to restrict gun-related commerce and ownership. Hope the good folks in Illinois already have their firearms and ammo (because ammo restrictions will be next) stacked high and deep.

  31. avatar Kyle says:

    Sure would be nice if the constitution of the united states was the law of the land.

    …Not even sure if it qualifies as bird cage liner at this point.

  32. avatar Jason somers says:

    Enough about the gun bill. Let’s start a more serious topic, a pool to see how long it takes to see before this Govenor goes to jail and for how long?! I think Illinois has the most continuous number of Govenors convicted of felonies since Obama left office. “I’ll take, how much does does an Illinois Senate seat cost for $10 million Alex!”

  33. avatar Warlocc says:

    Sounds lime it’d be cheaper to take the fines and drag them out in court than to try to comply, especially for a small business that can’t afford to do either.

  34. avatar possum says:

    Zay are keeling zee girl tonight,,, You can zave her, just sine zee papers old man,,UND VIE CANNOT YOU SINE ZEE PAPER’S!!!!!!!!!,,,,,”because you have broken both of my hands”

    1. avatar LKB says:

      “Put it back on that Indian movie, maaann.”

  35. avatar GS650G says:

    Not seeing the part that stops drug dealers in Chicago from killing people but I guess this is palatable to the left. Certainly less risky than locking people up and throwing the keys away.

  36. avatar AJ-2K says:

    The state is going to be half empty by the time this guy and his allies are done. I am leaving this summer! This is also only the tip of the iceberg. All it is just time to leave Illinois.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      Where you going?!? I’m trying for nearby Indiana. Or at least getting an Indiana ID😄😊😏

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        yeah,..they’ll be back to blaming Indiana for all their troubles soon…

  37. avatar ColoradoKid says:

    Dealers will close shops and the black market will thrive. Gun crime stats will stay the same or more likely increase…and the left will still claim victory with their own skewed/fake stats. I feel sorry for the dealers but maybe it’s time to move to another state anyway.

  38. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    They won’t actually do squat about the real cause of crime (prosecuting people who commit it) because “that’s racist” or something something. Instead we have to suffer so they can continue to commit crime.

  39. avatar Hannibal says:

    “40 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from negligent gun dealers within Illinois…”

    Aside from the point that I bet this is a tautology, you can take it further. I bet that 99% of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers, by the same logic. Unless criminals are pulling them out of thin air.

  40. avatar Fitz says:

    When are we going to go all 1776 on these people?

    How far is too far?

  41. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    The entire bill is designed to run as many gun dealers out of business as they can so that a minimum of State Inspectors can more efficiently and cheaply harass those dealers left in business. The big chains will love and support this law as it drives their competition of low cost little gun dealers out of business.

  42. avatar joefoam says:

    Signed on the heels of a new gov’t survey that shows only a tiny fraction of guns used in crime were purchased legally. What a sham, notice all the folks crowding in to be in the photo op. What a bunch of hypocrites. Good ole Rahm, front and center, claiming this will fix the blood bath in his town.

    1. Aha, the jew Rahm Emanuel shows up to watch the jew Gov. Pritzker sign an unconstitutional bill. All the gun-control groups that I have checked on are run or paid for my jews. There is a segment of that group of people who found, foment and finance Communism. The jewish takeover of Russia in 1917 was financed by Jacob Shiff, a NYC money-monger who spent $20 million (when that was real money) to put them in power. 24 of the top 25 Russion commies were jews and over 80% of the Soviet congress were jews. Karl Marx was a jew. Etc., etc.

      1. avatar cawpin says:

        Fuck off with your bigotry.

  43. avatar m. says:

    fat boy should read up on the predominant:
    .race of offenders & victims
    .location/county of shootings
    .method of obtaining weapons

  44. avatar Bob says:

    Why sign in Chicago? Thought Springfield is where he is supposed to be working!

  45. avatar Libertarian says:

    Now your privacy mandatory to learn how to make ghost gun”s from 80% parts …………
    F**** 1984 and leftwings !

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      got a friend or relative in another state?…that may be the way to go….

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