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House Democrats Hope To Keep Gun Dealer Licensing Measure Afloat

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois House Democrats are trying to muster support to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would require state licenses for gun dealers.

At a House committee hearing in Chicago, gun control supporters in the legislature hoped to use growing national sentiment in their favor. Activist Gayinga Washington told lawmakers she’s frustrated that no law has been passed yet.

“People are losing their lives while you’re squabbling about this and that and the other,” Washington said.

But Todd Vandermyde, a former NRA lobbyist who represents firearm dealers, believes Rauner acted well in striking down dealer licensing.

“He saw this for what it was: a complete and total overreach of a regulatory scheme, not designed to regulate an industry but to drive them out of business,” Vandermyde said.

Under the proposal, gun dealers would have to pay up to $1,000 for a five-year state license, record every transaction, and face possible state audits. Opponents say that could force dealers to close their doors.

Both the House and Senate need supermajorities to override the veto. They could take up the issue as early as next month.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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