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Still no rules for Illinois Gun Dealer License Certification Act with more than 1,200 gun dealers out of compliance

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Friday, August 9, 2019  |  Article  |  By Greg Bishop | The Center Square

Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46) Harmon, Don--State Senate, 39
Illinois State Police continue to work out the rules for public review for the Illinois Gun Dealer License Certification Act that went into effect last month as more than 1,200 federally licensed dealers have yet to seek state licenses in Illinois.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Gun Dealer License Certification Act in January. The law requires federally licensed dealers to also register with the state. But there aren’t any rules in place.

As The Center Square Illinois first reported last month, of the more than 2,350 federally licensed dealers in Illinois, about 1,140 of those have for the state license.

“The ones who haven’t renewed their license have had to stop selling,” Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said. “So they were put out of business by the state of Illinois. There have been 1,211 dealers that we know of put out of business, which is more than half in the state. And none of these dealers have ever done anything wrong, committed any violations, or they wouldn't be dealers.”

Pritzker said the rules still haven’t been finalized.

“There’s a great deal of consideration being given to them and in fact, people are working hard on it,” Pritzker said. “It’s taking a little longer than expected.”

Pearson said the lack of rules after the law went into effect isn’t giving dealers any consideration. He said without clear rules, dealers are in the dark.

“All it says is adequate. There’s no guidance on what adequate is. So [gun dealers] may spend $20,000 on a security system and find out that it’s not adequate,” Pearson said. “So there’s no consideration been given to the firearms dealers. We’ll go to court and let the court decide.”

Pearson said even once the rules are published soon, there would be a 90-day comment period before the law could be implemented.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office said its response to the Illinois State Rifle Association's lawsuit to block the law is due by Aug. 19.

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Brook, who spearheaded the law said last month as the law went into effect it has been “a real success.”

“I’m thrilled 1,100 gun dealers have applied,” Harmon said.

“He wanted to drive firearm dealers out of business and for him, it’s been a success,” Pearson said. “For the people who like the Second Amendment, who are some of the 2.3 million citizens who have a [Firearm Owner Identification] card here it’s been a disaster. It’s been hard for them. It’s a problem for those people, but it’s been a win for the anti-gunners.”