Friday, May 12, 2017

IL Senate Bill 1657: What Will It Mean For You And Businesses If It Passes?

This is a post by Todd Vandermyde, NRA, on IL GUNLOBBY.  Todd really lays out the terrible details that most of us would have trouble spotting in the 69 page document.  It is well worth your time to read. Then, call your IL Representative and file a Witness Slip opposing this terrible bill.

"Guys we have been slammed working on SB-1657. Here are some more talking points against the bill
​Guys people have been asking about talking points on SB-1657. below are some highlights
keep the calls coming
This isn’t about licensing dealers; it’s about running them out of business. Gun dealers are currently required to have federal licenses from BATFE. Dealers in Cook County have to have a municipal dealer license. Some are then saddled with additional local requirements imposed by municipalities.
• 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).
• How Many Licenses Are Enough: Illinois is home to over 2000 FFLs. Many are organized as corporations. Under SB-1657 they would have to have a dealers’ license for the owner, then get a Dealership license for the corporation, on top of the Federal License, and then often time on top of a local license. This essentially triples the number of licenses currently needed to operate as a firearms business in Illinois.
• Many FFLs are not gun dealers: They are machine shops that either make components, which require a FFL per BATFE, or are plating companies that also require a FFL due to handling and transfer of firearm frames and receivers. They do not engage in retail sales and are strictly business-to-business sales or transfers, many of which are subcontractors to the actual manufacturer. They would be required to do all the licensing as if they were a “gun dealer”.
• 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 current 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. And naturally there will be a charge for this, not in statute, but set by rule. A head tax by another name. 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. This has the effect of limiting the private transfer of firearms.
Want to sell off part of your collection to improve it or pay for college. Don’t sell more than 9 or you’ll need to get a State Dealer License and by their rules apply for a FFL, which BATFE will deny, because these people are NOT engaged in the business.
Trade a few guns and sell some others, you’re 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.
The bill adds to the federal definition of firearms dealer & engaged in the business. It also attmpts to exclude selling off parts of a collection, but it so ham-handedly tries to do these things that it creates conflicts within the law.
Registration: DFPR has unlimited rule making authority, to include “Formulate rules required for the administration of this Act.” Administrative requirements like the reporting of make, model, serial number and name with FOID card of every person buying a gun.
•​It’s about adding more regulation: Gun dealers currently deal with BATFE and their local municipality. Additionally, dealers work with Illinois State Police for background checks on all sales. Proponents now want to add another agency with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR).
•​An Unlimited Application: As another way to harass dealers and manufacturers, DFPR is given the unlimited ability to request information about the applicant and any employees. This includes written exams and in-person interviews.
•​No Limits On Inspections: Chicago has long blamed it’s crime problem on legitimate gun dealers outside the city. Anti-gunners seek to use a regulatory scheme as a way to control gun dealers outside the City of Chicago, ones that they have long sought to close. There is no limit on the number of record inspections a gun dealer could be subject to. Federal licensing law limits such harassment inspections.
• Complaints about dealers are anonymous and the people making them are not disclosed to the dealer. The Department can act on any one of these anonymous complaints and place a licensee in jeopardy.
• In most licensing laws you can have the defense of you followed the law. Except in this case FFL are not afforded that defense:
“that the provision of paragraph (d) of Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, which provides that at hearings the registrant or licensee has the right to show ​compliance with all lawful requirements for retention or continuation or renewal of the license, is specifically excluded.”
• Veterans excluded. If you are a veteran. And leave the active military, or even the reserves, and your job is an armorer and you want to open a gun shop and maybe a gun-smithing business you would be prohibited from doing so unless you worked for at least 1 year at another gun store.
•​They Lost Their Bans, But Want a New One: The City of Chicago lost their ban on gun shops in Federal Court. Now anti-gunners want to use a regulatory scheme to knock out gun dealers and prohibit new ones. This creates more red tape, endless applications, regulations on top of regulations and licenses on top of licenses. Despite their stated intentions, this bill is not about licensing gun dealers, it’s about running them out of business." Todd Vandermyde, IL GUNLOBBY

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