Gun Dealers Fear State-Regulation Bill Would Do Little To Enhance Safety
Some Illinois gun dealers say legislation that would require them to get state licenses would add a layer of regulation they don’t need and do little to keep firearms away from violent criminals.
The bill is the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. It is has been passed by the Illinois Senate and is awaiting consideration by the state House of Representatives. It would add state regulation to existing federal regulation.
Scott Maves owns Liberty Guns & Ammo in Homer, about 15 miles east of Urbana. The 40-year-old Army veteran says existing federal restrictions already make him very careful about who he sells to.
“They have the right to come by and inspect you at any time and if there’s any infractions, they can yank your license, up to yank your license, or fines, jail time, stuff like that,” he said. “So we’re already heavily regulated.”
Maves believes the additional layer of state regulation would do nothing to limit people buying guns for others who may want to use them to commit crimes.
“If somebody comes in with nefarious intentions to buy guns for somebody else, we can’t control that,” he said.
The legislation has the backing of Americans for Responsible Solutions. That is the gun violence-prevention group started by former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot during an event in her Arizona district.
The group says the possibility of state fines of up to $10,000 would help slow the flow of sales from negligent gun dealers that it blames for putting guns in the hands of violent criminals.
Gun dealers like Maves also complain the legislation would exempt big-box retailers and set up additional hurdles that would make it hard for new dealers to get into the business.