Illinois gun owners face a very real threat. Illinois’ gun dealer licensing bill (SB-1657) will have a hearing in a House committee next week, and from there it will almost assuredly go to the House floor for a vote. The good guys in Illinois have come together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder to oppose this bill. Yes, this includes Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms.
The bill rolls together all manner of gun control initiatives. It sets up dealers for toxic mixture of onerous fees and expensive regulations. To make the bill “revenue neutral,” the licensing fee alone would be set at $5000 annually for the 1500 FFLs in the state, assuming a third of existing dealers quit. Make that $10,000 per year if two-thirds of the current Illinois FFLs give up their licenses over the added costs.
It also includes universal background checks. Yep, no more private sales between individuals. All gun sales or gifts would have to go through a dealer. What’s more, SB-1657 contains gun rationing, limiting non-dealers to only nine transfers per year. Sell a tenth gun and you’ll spend more time in the slammer than convicted gun traffickers in Chicago.
Don’t take my word for it. Look no further than Simone Mousheh, for instance. Chicago Police arrested her last fall and charged her with four felony counts. Did the tough-as-nails-on-crime Cook County prosecutors throw the book at her? As if. They agreed to probation and some community service work last month.
Simone Mousheh, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to the illegal transfer of firearms in exchange for 12 months probation and 15 days in the Cook County sheriff’s work alternative program, according to court records. S.W.A.P. allows judges to sentence nonviolent offenders to manual labor in lieu of jail time.
She was also ordered to pay $679 in fines.
According to published reports, Mousheh purchased a .40-caliber gun legally then reported it stolen. Police recovered the gun from a Chicago juvenile.
During a six-month period, authorities said, Mousheh purchased four weapons for $600 each and sold two to a Hoffman Estates man with Chicago gang ties.
Anyway, The Chicago Tribune published a fantastic opinion piece by Dan Eldridge on the Illinois gun dealer licensing bill. It scores an X-ring hit as Eldridge takes the bill’s radical sponsor to task.
Eldridge is the owner of the suburban Chicago Maxon’s Shooter’s Supply and Indoor Range. He expressed anger over the sell-out of the Illinois Firearms Manufacturer’s Association (funded by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms’ owners), trading that lobbying group’s opposition for a carve-out for manufacturers.
Here’s the money shot:
Most operational requirements in SB 1657 would be determined by rules created by a five-member board. In addition to two law enforcement and one federal firearms licensee, the Gun Dealer Licensing Board is set to include a “public safety advocate” and a lawyer. The last two will probably know nothing about licensed gun retailers’ operations and may even have an axe to grind.
A careful reading of this vague legislation reveals that almost all of the standards, fees and penalties would be determined at a later date. There are no limits on new training requirements, security requirements, written exams, in-store inspections or any other potential regulations. No store would be able to survive the onslaught of a determined, anti-gun-rights board . . .
Gun control advocates can’t point to a single line in SB 1657 that will prevent illegal firearm transfers or slow the illegal flow guns to criminals. What would make a difference? Vigorously enforce laws already on the books.
Those who would like to help us defeat this bill can file a witness slip in opposition to SB-1657. Click here, and fill out your name and address in Section I. You do not have to be a resident of Illinois.
In Section II, enter “self” or “myself.” If you represent an organization, you can mention that. (Don’t fill in “NRA” as you’re not speaking on behalf of NRA, even if you’re a member.) On Section III, select “OPPONENT” and in Section IV, click “Record of Appearance Only.” Click “submit” and you’re done.