As Senate advances gun control to House, Illinois State Rifle Association questions bill's relevancy
The Illinois State House Judiciary-Criminal Committee voted Thursday 8-3 in favor of passing State Amendendment 3 to Senate Bill 337, which promotes gun safety and control by providing additional regulations affecting gun stores.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives and is expected to come up for a vote soon, possibly as soon as today in Springfield.
Bruce Rauner, governor of Illinois, recently vetoed elements of SB 337 and questions the bill’s relevancy.
Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director Richard Pearson agrees.
“The problem with this is, it’s touted as an anti-gun trafficking bill and it has nothing to do with gun trafficking,” Pearson recently told the Prairie State Wire. “It only attacks law-abiding people. It doesn’t do one thing for the not law-abiding people. I’m confused by this sometimes.”
In response to the spike of recent public shooting sprees in the U.S., the bill was sponsored by Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), intending to promote “responsible business practices” regarding the sale of firearms.
Critics, like Rauner and Pearson, point to the possibility of local gun stores having to close because of all of the proposed regulations.
“It’s a broad deal and it includes everybody,” Pearson said, listing industry entities such as contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, gun and pawn shops.; and even gun props used for movies. “Anything that looks like a gun gets caught up in this.”
Among other issues, the ISRA executive listed: state licensing fees could be 500 percent more than federal licenses – “that’s crazy,” he said - and the shift of oversight to the state police department.
“The state police does not want anything to do with this,” Pearson said. “There is no funding. They would have to pull 21 troopers off the road just to pay for this.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) currently enforces licensing to firearm dealers. If passed by the house, the bill would create additional department divisions, licensing boards and licensing fees, according to a National Rifle Association (NRA) press release.