Train wreck. That sums up yesterday’s Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) hearing regarding the Illinois State Police’s (ISP) proposed rule-making to enforce the Gun Dealer Licensing Act (GDL). Yes, it truly proved a train wreck. At least from the perspective of those engaged in a jihad against our gun rights.
Most of what JCAR does is low-key and behind the scenes. In fact, a whole lot of people aren’t even familiar with the small group of legislators that approves (or rejects) proposed administrative rules for State government.
Most proposed rules are lucky to see even a dozen public comments. Some high-profile stuff might see a hundred.
Rich Pearson over at ISRA reports that JCAR had 4,000 public comments to their proposed rule-making on the GDL.
And yesterday, JCAR had its first public hearing on the proposed rule-making. Sixteen people spoke, representing organizations, dealers and other entities.
So many problems came out publicly that word of the impending disaster got back to the leaders of the gun grabbing posse – people like Senator Julie Morrison, Rep. Kathleen Willis and others of their ilk. In a nutshell, there’s no way the JCAR members can vote to approve the ISP-proposed rules and follow JCAR’s rules at the same time. The GSL proposed rules run afoul of a number of JCAR’s guidelines, including language that states that JCAR rules must minimize a burden on small businesses.
And Morrison, Willis, Harmon and others aren’t one bit happy.
Yes, it became readily apparent that the ISP’s first stab at rule writing on GDL was a total trainwreck.
Among the many issues brought up:
- The lack of specificity of the rules (for instance, what are the boundaries of the parking lot for the purposes of rule-making… easy where it’s a single business. Not so easy if it’s in a strip mall or large mall).
- Video surveillance demands being over-the-top in terms of cost, technological feasibility and the requirement for a simultaneous backup off-site (costs, lack of internet capability without spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) for many.
- Objections to the section that would penalize dealers because they “should have known” customers intended to commit crimes after taking possession of firearms purchased in the stores.
- The redundant alarm system requirements.
- Conflict with Illinois Biometric Privacy Act with regard to facial recognition.
- Costs involved with mandates on how firearms and ammunition must be displayed, stored, etc. both during business hours and after hours.
- And plenty more.
One dealer told the JCAR group that if he was going to have to spend $100,000 on a camera system, he would rather spend it on attorneys challenging the law and rulemaking first.
All in all, the good guys and gals did a nice job successfully pushing back at the new law’s implementation in the very arcane rule-making world.
My early analysis says that the proposed rules will be rejected, at least in part, by the JCAR board.
In all likelihood, the ISP will take another stab at writing these rules. Only this time, instead of rejecting input from gun owners and dealers, they will collaborate with dealers, dealer organizations, and maybe even gun rights orgs in writing rules that are a lot more sensible and a whole lot less onerous.
The alternative is that the proposed rules are approved as is, and then struck down a few months later in a court of law.
Frankly, as it is now, we’re coming up on a year after Governor J.B. Pritzker signed this bill from the previous legislative session (itself casting doubt on its Constitutionality in our sine die legislative system). A whole year and not a single dealer has received the official license from the ISP. And ISP can’t really issue licenses as the proposed rules for the law’s implementation still have not been adopted.
In short, this whole hare-brained idea has turned into a train wreck for everyone involved: the bill’s sponsors, dealers (both those driven out of business and those who remain), along with gun owners.
But it has proven successful for gun haters from the standpoint that it’s already driven over half of Illinois gun dealers out of business.