Monday, May 1, 2017

Illinois Senate Bill 1657; An Attack On Your Freedom, and Illinois Businesses

Illinois politicians assault freedom loving citizens every year with anti-gun legislation, and the legislature has to be watched constantly. Last week, heinous Senate Bill 1657 (Gun Dealer Licensing Act) passed out of committee and then was passed by the Illinois Senate.  It has now been sent to the House Committee for review.  There has been plenty of noise in Illinois because of circumstances around this bill, and its success in the Senate.  (Click The screen captures to enlarge.)

The outcry in Illinois over this bill resulted from a deal and a flip-flop by the lobbyist group, Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Associtation, which represents Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory. The IFMA had originally filed a Witness Slip to the Committee opposing this bill, but a deal was made to exclude the manufacturers, large retailers and auctioneers from the provisions of the bill.  The IFMA then changed their status to Neutral, and the bill passed out of the commitee on a 7 to 5 vote. You will see that there are 1097 Witness Slips filed opposing the bill to 507 proponents. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois State Auctioneeers, and one business (Illinois Tactical Firearms Training Institute) also filed Neutral Witness Slips.

The Devil is in the details of the proposed Gun Dealer Licensing Act.  This is a 69 page law that will regulate wholesalers, retailers, gunsmiths, and firearm owners.  Take some time to read the provisions of the law at the provided link and think what this will mean to small business owners who already have to follow a maze of Illinois laws, plus the regulations and requirements of the BATF.  Look at the penalties for violations of this law, and think what they will mean for you as a private citizen.  What if you are widowed, or unemployed, and must sell a lifetime collection* of firearms to retrieve your investment? Sell ten within one year in private sales and you could be fined $10,000.  Sell one more and you become a felon. Add this bill to requirements that were added to Illinois citizens through the Illinios FOID law.  Illinois citizens have been required for many years to verify that private gun transfers went to FOID Card holders, and you have to keep a record of that for ten years.  Recent amendments to the rules require approval of the Illinois State Police before private sales occur, and you now have to observe the 1(long guns) and 3 (handguns) day waiting periods for transfers. If the State Police record the information for transfers from FFL dealers and private sales, they will soon have a good estimate of the number of guns that individual Illinois FOID Card holders have in their possession.

Dealers and customers will have to adapt to many new requirements if this law passes.  All stores will be required to have constant video surveillance.  Your FOID will be scanned and must be kept on file by the Dealer.  Remember that any violation of a section of this law can result in a $10,000 fine for the dealer, and a second violation of any part of the law will be a felony.  This is a very business-unfriendly law, and it will drive Mom and Pop gun shops out of existence in Illinois. Big retail chains will glide by with this law, but they will be easy pickings when the next anti-gun bill is introduced.

Here is what you need to do to fight this law.  Read the Witness Slip User Guide. Bookmark the Illinois General Assembly Dashboard.  Check every day for this bill so you know when it goes into Committee.  File a Witness Slip (Register on the ILGA Dashboard.) showing that you oppose this law. Call or email your Representative before it comes up to a vote in the House if it reaches that point.

This is an issue that all freedom loving people need to get on top of in Illinois. Bad bills are filed in Illinois every year, and they usually don't go anywhere, but SB 1657 has legs now, and we must beat it down.  Do Your Part and contact the House Committee when this bill is considered, and contact your Representative if it comes up for a House vote.

*There is a provision for Collections of firearms in the bill, but they have to meet the Law's definition of collectible firearms.  Guns used for sport, recreation, and defense will not meet that qualification.

No comments: