Statement on Governor Pritzker Signing Bill to Require Duplicating Gun Dealer Licenses

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation today to require law-abiding gun dealers which are already licensed by the federal government to obtain a state gun dealer license and pay a fee up to $1,500 for the license. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) opposes this new law and released the following statement:

“I’m disappointed to see our new Governor sign a bill that requires law-abiding gun dealers that are already licensed and authorized to sell firearms in the State of Illinois to now be required to obtain an additional license from the state. The new law is a result of two questionable gun dealers in the city of Chicago which have been identified for putting guns in the hands of criminals which in fact can be traced back to gun crimes in the city. Just because there is a problem with two gun dealers in the city, it doesn’t mean all gun dealers should be slapped with duplicative regulation.

This new law will unfortunately have a negative impact on our local gun dealers in southern Illinois. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) already licenses and closely monitors all Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) and strictly enforces any infringement of federal law. The State does not need to duplicate what the federal government already does. Yes, I support keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, but I will always support our law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment.

Licensed gun dealers in southern Illinois are tax paying businesses, many supplement their retirement with one employee and their family. In our rural counties, we don’t have a large tax base, we lost our coal mines. Mom and pop businesses are now being discriminated against because of a few gun stores in Chicago. How much more does the rest of the state have to suffer because Chicago is not enforcing the law?”