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Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

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.

From the Daily Herald:

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.

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  1. Let’s see if Springfield wants to live or die. They better kill this bill or I’ll never touch another one of their guns.

    • Of course NOW Springfield will vehemently oppose it. No forgiveness from me for what they did. They just got caught so now they sing a different tune.

  2. “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.”

    Where does this appear in the bill? I can’t find it (other than the >9 transfer limitation which would define a person as a “dealer”).

    It’s a bad bill in every respect.

  3. Hold it a minute there, if I want to sell ten guns I have to pay $5,000, and if WalMart wants to sell a thousand guns they pay $0?

    Yep, that’ll be thrown out in 7 years, when the courts finally hand down the decision and all the victims are long since out of business.

    • It’s called a democratic oligarchy. Where policy is made for the benefit of large corporations and influential individuals at the cost of average Americans.

  4. Springfield and RRA can go to hell. Yes I’ll file the witness slip. Illinois sucks. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting Boch and thank you TTAG!

    • Well said fww.
      Never giving another dime to either company. And will be moving south in a couple years. Cant wait to get out of Illinois.

  5. I thought, according to your earlier editorial, that TTAG had summarily forgiven Springfield and Rock River Arms for their support if this legislation? What about the outing of the other supporters of this terrible legislation.

  6. Witness Slip filled out and sent. Every person who reads this blog should do the same. Lets help our friends in Illinois

  7. What should my Firm/Business/Agency and Title be as an individual? These fields are not optional.

      • Yep, did that in section II. Like I asked, what do I put in the Firm and Title fields in section I? The form will not submit with those fields blank. I know filing the form is a small gesture that will probably fall on deaf ears but this is a particularly bad sign of things to come for many states across the nation.

  8. Filed my own slip yesterday. Only wish I had time to drive down and testify in person about how the Demokkkratic party is putting up more Jim Crow laws to keep those dirty minorities from being able to conveniently buy guns.

  9. Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms aren’t the good guys, and I don’t understand the whitewash going on here at TTAG. At best SA and RAA are the dumb ass privates that walked the rest of the platoon into the blind canyon with enemies closing in on all sides…

    • Yeah… sorry, you’re not “good guys” for doing the right thing under duress after you got caught doing the wrong thing.

    • Somewhere down the line I suspect there was a phone call or two from SA and RRA and now TTAG magically supports them. Hmmm. . .

  10. The good guys in Illinois and even two scoundrels — Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms — have come together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder to oppose this bill.

    There, fixed that for you.

  11. Went through hell filling out the slip. Impossible on my computer. Somehow worked on my 2nd try on my phone. Go figure…

  12. Has anybody bothered to find out what the Governor’s opinion is? He will have the final say and the bill will not have enough votes to override. I would suggest that he be the target of the lobbying and not the state legislature.

  13. Springfield and Rock River created this fiasco and now they are begging us to clean up their mess.

    Boycott the companies until their owners sell them and are COMPLETELY out of the business.

  14. Turn off the lights folks the party is over.

    The Illinois House will pass SB1657 and the Governor will sign it after the Chicago Democrats promise they will give the Governor one thing he wants.

    SA and RRA are putting shills in place all over social media while pro gun owners say nothing about the self-serving dirty deeds of SA or RRA. (

    Others may accept SA or RRA’s mea culpa but I will not. They only found the light after they got caught. (

    Yes Bunkie, this is another step in the slow decline of gun rights in Illinois for there will be many more after SB-1657 passes.

  15. all those witness slips drummed up by ttag help. thanks.

    i wonder if armslist campaigns against this type of legislation- if this passes i won’t be visiting that site much anymore.

  16. Today is the day the House Judiciary Committee hears this bill. Please fill out a witness slip today to help your pro-2A brothers in IL. NON-ILLINOIS RESIDENTS MAY ALSO PARTICIPATE!

    Bill Summary:
    Witness Slip:

    1. Fill out Section I
    2. In Section II, enter “Self,” Myself,” or your organization if you represent one (you do not represent the NRA).
    3. In Section III, select “Opponent”
    4. In Section IV, click “Record of Appearance Only.”
    5. Click Submit.

    Just do it! Help your IL friends and FFLs!

  17. Here is one you never thought about. What will happen to the great non profit groups like Ducks Unlimited and RMEF as well as Whitetails Unlimited? Nobody ever thought about these great conservation groups that pay the way for conservation of ALL OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. Remember what Einstein said ” For every action there is an equal and opposing reaction” better watch out Illinois just another bad idea to hide the problem at hand. Reminds me of a farmer who was cutting the doorway above his barn door and I asked him why he was doing it. He replied horse bumps his head when he comes out. I said why don’t you shovel the 30 inches of horse shit out of the doorway, he replied “he is bumping his head not tripping over his feet”

  18. Just to clear up the words about $5000 in yearly fees: the trailer bill that is attached to the bill says the max fee is $1000 over FIVE years. This comes to no more than $200 a year.


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