Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Gov. Rauner Vetoes Piece of Gun Control Legislation

Gov. Rauner Vetoes Piece of Gun Control Legislation

The legislation would require gun dealers be licensed by the state.

Rauner, who's facing a primary challenge from the right and had been silent on what he'd do, announced his plan to veto the bill in an interview with WJPF radio Tuesday morning. He wants to win his primary and neglect his primary responsibilities.

The mayor has said requiring IL gun dealers to be licensed by the state would help reduce illegal straw purchases, in which a person buys guns for someone else who can't legally buy them. "We have ample proof that such narrowly focused legislative responses make for good political cover, but they do little to stop the illegal flow of guns into IL or prevent people from committing thousands of crimes in our state each year with illegal guns". Rauner faces a challenge from conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R), who voted against the firearms restrictions in the legislature. Last week, Ives' campaign criticized Rauner for not speaking publicly against the bill, calling it "the prelude to yet another betrayal" of Republicans.

The legislation, which passed the General Assembly last month, would require all gun dealers in IL to obtain licenses from the state.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel accuses Rauner of vetoing the gun shop licensing bill to try to get in the good graces of Republican voters. This veto is a slap in the face to crime victims, faith leaders and police who have pleaded with Governor Rauner to protect public safety by signing the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. The mayor said Rauner "put his primary election ahead of his primary responsibility to protect the safety of the people of Chicago and IL".

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Democratic State Senator Don Harmon from Oak Park says the governor's decision is about politics.

"We're already controlled by the federal government", said Slater.

The sponsor, Addison Democratic Rep. Kathleen Willis, has said that state oversight would identify and eliminate the practice of straw purchasers buying guns legally and then selling them to criminals. In a statement Tuesday, he called the veto "cruel" and "cold".

"But Rauner said Tuesday the measure amounts to burdensome regulation".

The House also has approved several other measures, including a ban on bump stocks and other modifications that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly, a 72-hour waiting period to purchase assault rifles, and increasing the age limit for buying assault rifles from 18 to 21.

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