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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act into law this past week. The bill enacts all manner of onerous and expensive regulations upon dealers, with up to $10,000 in civil penalties for each and every violation.

The bill's advocates claim that Illinois gun dealers need more supervision. "40 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from negligent gun dealers within Illinois," the group G-Pac claimed in their press release cheering the governor's action.

Nevermind that the average "time to crime" for guns traced back to Illinois dealers in 2017 stood at 9.28 years, right at the national average of 9.3 years.

This new bill basically represents last year's Gun Dealer Licensing Act, re-tooled to eliminate many of the largest objections of gun rights groups and squishy, supposedly pro-gun Prairie State politicians. More on that in a bit.

First this from the Chicago Tribune . . .

Minutes before Pritzker put pen to paper amid anti-violence advocates at Young Elementary School, the Illinois State Rifle Association threatened to challenge the new law in court.

“Just because we’re signing this today doesn’t mean there isn’t more to do,” Pritzker said. “But this particular bill is very important.”

Pritzker said he wants Illinois to outlaw bump stocks and trigger cranks this year, as well as put more money toward social services. But he said “I don’t know that” lawmakers would push for a ban on assault weapons this year.

Under the new law Pritzker signed Thursday, it would be illegal for retailers to sell guns without being certified by the state. To qualify, stores first must be licensed by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Then, they would have to submit a copy of that license to the Illinois State Police, along with an affidavit declaring it remains valid. Shop owners would have to install surveillance equipment, maintain an electronic inventory, establish anti-theft measures and require employees to undergo annual training.

A certification would cost retailers a maximum of $1,500, and the regulations would apply to small businesses as well as big-box retailers. Sellers without a retail location would be charged $300 for certification. Supporters contend the new rules could reduce gun violence because federal regulators are stretched too thin to adequately handle all the shops operating in Illinois.

Pritzker signed the bill into law a mere four days into his term. He did following very dubious parliamentary maneuvering by Senate President John Cullerton on a bill passed in the 100th Illinois General Assembly, the previous legislative session.

Constitutionally in Illinois, when a new General Assembly session gets sworn in, all previous bills under consideration die in a legal principle known as sine die. This year, for the first time, a Governor signed into law a measure passed under the previous General Assembly. That creates constitutional questions about the legitimacy of Pritzker's action and the law.

Furthermore, if gun control advocates have the votes to pass this measure, why do they need to resort to political chicanery to sign this bill into law?

As the Tribune noted, the Illinois State Rifle Association has threatened to fight the governor's signature in court. I wish them the best of luck. Court actions take a lot of financial resources and time – months or even years. And even if ISRA gets a court decision striking down the measure, the current General Assembly can pass a new bill and have the governor sign it into law in a matter of days.

The good news for Illinoisans? As mentioned earlier, this latest bill deleted the worst of the worst provisions of last year's Gun Dealer Licensing Act vetoed last year by now former-Governor Bruce Rauner. Those included much steeper fees for dealers, rationing gun owners to nine firearm transfers per year, and a formal end to private firearm transfers in the Prairie State.

The bad news for our gun dealers? This new law still has all manner of onerous provisions:

  • Up to a $10,000 civil penalty for each and every violation of any provision
  • Requires mandatory training of employees
  • Mandatory video surveillance of the entire facility, with the exception of restrooms
  • Records of the video surveillance shall be maintained for at least 90 days
  • Requires licensees sign up for an alarm monitoring service
  • Multiple signage requirements.  If one of the required signs fall off the wall or become obscured?  $10,000 civil penalty.  Make your check out to the Illinois State Police.
  • Security plans must be submitted to the Illinois State Police and there's no set standard.  In other words, an ISP bureaucrat may deem a submitted plan "inadequate" at any time for an arbitrary reason.
  • Requirement that licensees make a photocopy of ID for each firearm transfer.  Don't lose that copy, dealers!  Each lost ID will cost you $10,000 to the ISP.
  • Submit to random, unannounced inspections by any law enforcement agency or the Illinois State Police.  So the Chicago Anti-gun Enforcement Unit could drop in, unannounced, at a dealer in Cairo, Illinois and go through the records with a fine tooth comb.  Any violations, no matter how trivial, will cost the dealer $10,000.  Each.
  • All manner of application and ongoing paperwork requirements.  Miss filing the appropriate affidavit for a new employee, break out that checkbook.
  • Implementation of electronic-based record keeping system by 2020.  Better make sure you backup those hard drives!  Each record lost will cost you…  big bucks.

Given all the new fees and paperwork requirements in store for Illinois dealers, some estimate that half or more of Illinois Federal Firearms Licensees will surrender their licenses, putting more Illinoisans out of work.

In fact, in the latest issue of Guns Save Life's monthly journal GunNews Magazine, two dealerships advertised their businesses for sale.


An advertisement for a third dealer's property and business, including a range, appeared a month or two ago in GunNews.

Before now, gun dealerships advertising themselves for sale were few and far between.

However, given the steep civil penalties for even the smallest of errors, can anyone blame them? Lose the copy of a driver's license and pay a $10,000 fine? A sign obscured? A form not received by the ISP in a timely manner? How many dealerships can remain in business after catching two or three of those?


13 thoughts on “Illinois Gov. Pritzker Signs Gun Dealer Licensing 2.0”
  1. I've already shut the shop down. Preparing to send in my records to ATF. This after 40+ years and NO violations!

    Thanks alot you Fat Bastard!!! May you and Madigan Rot in Hell!!!

  2. It's not real clear, if an FFL holder only does transfers but is not a retail point of sale location, are they affected the same way?

  3. I never thought i would ever see the day that so many people including pastors, talk show hosts and youtube video's would be talking about the fall of our country and civil war.

    Almost every one making the claim links the border and the Left as the cause for the coming collapse.  My family were all proud Democrats, many were veterans and none of them would agree with this nonsense now facing our state and our country. None of the veterans in my family fought for gun control and open borders

    This is really sad. that our country would go the way, it has gone. Below is the best video on the subject I have found on the matter. 


  4. I saw the signing on the local news (Chi area) and jb hutt said this law will save lives.Only in there minds!

  5. i guess fat boy is not mindful of the predominant:

    .sources i.e., black market, illegal-strawman, theft, street sharing-trading, etc.

    .city/county/location/neighborhood of shootings

    .race*(s) of shooters & victims

    goal: disarm the law-abiding, a**holes are not concerned about criminal activity


  6. Pritzker said he wants Illinois to outlaw bump stocks and trigger cranks this year, as well as put more money toward social services. But he said “I don’t know that” lawmakers would push for a ban on assault weapons this year. TRANSLATION: We're working on it now and will bring to vote asap. Cause that's how liars operate.

  7. Lets see now, adding state restrictions on already lawful Federally licensed dealers that have to abide by all federal laws, handling, storing, and selling of all firearms in their charge will make CRIMINALS abide by Ill-annoy's FOID and concealed carry laws, make them inclined to abide by criminal statutes against murder, assault with a deadly, rape, and many others.

    WHAT am I missing here? Is it that because CRIMINALS are CRIMINALS and do not obey laws, will steal whatever firearms they want to and use those "illegal" ffirearms in whatever crime they choose to?

    Law abiding citizens are law abiding, criminals will flout whatever laws they choose to without remorse other than the remorse of getting caught. What a waste of propaganda this obtuse legislation will be, driving firearms dealers out of business and out of Ill-annoy.

  8. ps. I love my home state of Illinois, I hate the way Ill-annoy politicians have destroyed a once great state. R.I.P.freedom in Ill-annoy. May God bless those who fight against tyrannical politicians that are ruining our state.

  9. Illinois, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, etc., ….as Un-American as you can get. These states might as well be run by appalling Iranian Mullahs or Venezuela's detested Maduro. No one can tell the difference.

    Americans persecuting Americans and these are "our" leaders. Extremists! And dishonest to boot in speech and deed. No gun crimes will be thwarted by these measures. Only the law-abiding citizens are to be fatigued and abused with these scoundrels' unjust perfidy and compliances removing our freedoms and liberties statute by statute, regulation by regulation, court appeal by court appeal from courts that are increasingly instruments of faction and not a check upon faction.

    "Unhappy America! When thy Enemies are rewarded with Honors and Riches; but thy Friends punished and ruined only for asserting thy Rights, and pleading for they Feedom!" -A.B.C. (Samuel Adams)

    "The Constitution is Not an instrument for the Government to Restrain the People. It is an instrument for the People to Restrain the Governement lest it come to dominate our lives and Interests." – Patrick Henry

  10. Well.  Today he sighned. Abortion bill. So somebody needs to tell the democrats that abortion is murder  but that  is. Probably ok with  them !’

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