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Senator Don Harmon Gun Dealer Licensing Scheme
Illinois Democrat Senator Don Harmon.

The Illinois Senate will vote this next week on SB1657, a bill that would license gun dealers in Illinois and ration gun owners to nine firearm transfers per year. Yes, the feds already license and regulate gun dealers in Honest Abe’s home state as they do everywhere else. But that’s not good enough for the freedom-hating leftists in Springfield.

Instead, they want to set up an onerous and expensive bureaucracy by which the state can license and regulate gun retailers. Better still for them, their scheme would allow local law enforcement to hassle dealers. Of course, we all know the true motivation behind this ploy  — to drive Illinois gun sellers out of business.

Chicago Democrat Senator Don Harmon claims Illinois regulates dog groomers more than it does gun stores. Technically, he might be correct. The feds, on the other hand, have plenty of rules and regulations on the books.

Harmon’s bill, though does a lot more than regulate gun dealers. As Billy Mays would say, “But wait!  There’s more!” As mentioned above, SB-1657 would also limit every private citizen to nine firearm transfers per year. So much for transferring guns from an estate to the heirs. Want to sell a gun collection to pay for college or a financial emergency? Don’t sell more than nine or you’ll to more prison time than a South Side gang banger.

SB-1657 came about after years of Mayors Richard Daley, Jr. and Rahm Emanuel doing everything they could think of to shut down gun stores in and around Murder City USA. For years, Daley and Emanuel have ignored their punishing, pervasive gang problem and instead the city’s out-of-control crime problem on guns.

Their minions have protested outside suburban gun stores while Windy City legal beagles sued to shut some of them down. Every time, gun owners have stood up to oppose them and courts have sent the plaintiffs packing.

Which brings us to this “gun dealer licensing” bill. Unfortunately, this thing actually has a chance to squeak through the Illinois Senate. And while you wouldn’t expect Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to sign it into law, this is Illinois. Take nothing for granted.

If SB-1657 gets passed in Illinois, you could come to your state (if you live somewhere like California, Maryland or New Jersey). That’s right, if Bloomberg’s paid Everytown lobbyists think they can ram this through your state legislature, you might be next.

The NRA-ILA, along with Guns Save Life and the Illinois State Rifle Association, continue to work against this bill.

Here are a few talking points from the NRA:

“Gun Dealer Licensing” is touted by proponents as licensing gun dealers.  In reality, it’s about running them out of business and rationing our right to buy and sell guns.

Employees already have background checks: We know of no gun dealer in the state where someone who works there, as an Illinois resident, selling and handling firearms is not required to have a FOID card. Most people working at gun shops not only have FOID cards, they have their concealed carry license as well. Just what exactly is the new background check going to find that the State Police missed in the FOID and CCL check?

Not merely background checks: It’s not about background checks on employees, it’s about requiring written exams, in-person interviews, apprenticeship type hours and continuing education. None of these have anything to do with background checks. It has everything to do with running up the cost of employees, running up the cost of doing business and piling on more regulations and red tape to either drive people out of business, or keep them from getting in, thus limiting the number of gun shops.

Sell More Than 9 Firearms a Year, Congratulations You’re a Dealer: Anyone who sells or transfers more than 9 firearms a year, and you’re considered a dealer.  Want to sell off part of your collection to improve it or pay for college. Don’t sell more than nine or you are a dealer. Try to liquidate all or part of your collection, even by putting them on consignment at your local gun shop, you’re a dealer. The net effect is to limit the ability of gun owners to sell, trade or improve their collections. And, all of it comes with criminal penalties and fines of up to $10,000 per violation.

Two State Licenses Required: SB-1657 requires “corporations” to obtain a dealership license in order to conduct business. However, before being able to obtain a dealership license, either the owner or a member of the Board of Directors must obtain a dealer license. This means that there will be a minimum of two state licenses per these Federal Firearms License (FFLs).  This essentially triples the number of licenses currently needed to operate as a firearms business in Illinois.

Licenses On Top of Licenses: Not content with Federal licenses, and the addition of multiple state licenses, SB-1657 explicitly authorizes additional licensure and regulations by municipalities and counties. So despite having a FFL, besides having two state licenses, they now may be required to obtain a municipal license and comply with a myriad of regulations beyond local zoning. This isn’t about licensing gun dealers. This is about creating regulations for the sake of regulating an industry out of existence, minimizing the number of retailers where Illinois residents will be able to legally buy a firearm.

Licensing of Employees: If the duplicative licensing requirements for currently federally licensed dealers wasn’t enough, SB-1657 also sets up two new “licenses” for employees. One is for “Dealership Agents” — people who have access to firearms. Another Dealership Licensee-in -charge” for the person who “assumes sole responsibility” for the license. Never mind that employees have FOID cards and most have CCLs. Forget the other 4 – 6 licenses or more they may be required to obtain under the bill. Now they want to “license” every employee who can touch a firearm.

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  1. “Instead, they want to set up an onerous and expensive bureaucracy by which the state can license and regulate … .” Sounds like typical big government nonsense Democrats love.

        • I’m with you Serge. My wife told me to calm down…anywho if Bruce Rauner signs this POS he can kiss any reelection chance byebye. Gun owners helped elect his billionaire azz.

  2. A Democrat says “We regulate guns less than dog groomers!” as if that’s some sort of 1:1 thing.

    A thinking person asks “How much does the state actually regulate dog groomers? What does that cost?” Then they figure maybe we should look into this and, pending findings, consider getting rid of a bunch of those regs…

    The Democrat rejoins “But it’s for the puppies!”.

    • Regulating trade workers is *claimed* to be for the public interest.

      In reality it’s a scheme set up to keep the competition in check.

      A good example is hairdressers. It can require a lengthy internship process that provides the license holders effectively slave labor while they ‘earn’ the license.

      Some states are starting to push back on the worst offenders…

      • Same deal with licensing cabs and a ton of other stuff too.

        In Las Vegas there’s actually a reg that says that to start a cab company one must prove that the new company won’t cost the existing cab companies any money.

        Even if it wouldn’t, you could never prove that until you were up and running but then you’d be an unlicensed cab company.

      • Law school as a requirement for taking bar exam is another example of the government “protecting” the public from people who don’t know what they’re doing.

        It’s really just a barrier to entry to keep out competition.

  3. Gun collectors aren’t the ones committing gun crimes. Gun dealers aren’t committing gun crimes. They want people to do background checks then close the places that do background checks down. Every law they come up with target people and guns that aren’t used in the vast majority of crimes. Punishing groups of people because of crimes by individuals within said group is prejudice.

  4. Illinoiance is like the bad neighbor on the block, Yup, land of Lincoln alrighty then! Glad I am in WI. Build OUR wall .

  5. Welcome to the Democratic peoples republic of illinois, Kim Jon in would be happy here.remember this is the same place that gave probation to a woman that sold 4 guns to unlicensed gang members

  6. California already has a one handgun a month law, and a bill is pending to add all long guns to the limitation. Fortunately, however, it does not apply to sales of estates or collections.

  7. “Creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Board consisting of 5 members appointed by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation to recommend policies, procedures, and rules relevant to the administration and enforcement of the Act. Provides that the holder of a dealership license issued under the Act may employ in the conduct of his or her business dealership agents. Establishes qualifications for obtaining dealership licenses and for being employed as a dealership agent. Establishes penalties for violations of the Act. Provides for rulemaking, including emergency rulemaking. ”

    Wow what could go wrong with “Creates the Gun Dealer Licensing Board consisting of 5 members appointed by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation”? No doubt they would be gun haters. And “emergency rulemaking” ? What the heck could that be. Does not sound like anything good to me. Usually it means something along the lines of taking actions denying due process such as forcing all gun stores to close on a moment’s notice for public safety reasons.

  8. This is what is wrong with this country. If we truly cared about freedom the “legislators” who wrote this dreck would be diead for the mere crime of contemplating a bill such as this.

  9. Politicians who come up and vote for this BS should be tarred, feathered, and be barred from ever holding office again.

  10. It will only effect those who do not have the right political connection.
    Aka. Contribution to the political fund of somebodies reelection.
    just as resturants would pass along a little something to the food sanitation inspectors.
    Its just the chicago way throughout the whole state.
    The ATF has rules and regulations that are strictly enforce.

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