ISRA Challenges Law Requiring Gun Dealers To Obtain A State License

7/17/2019

Chatsworth, IL – The Illinois State Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit challenging the state licensure measure Governor JB Pritzker signed into law shortly after taking office.

Senate Bill 337 was passed in the 100th General Assembly but was never sent to then Governor Bruce Rauner because 2nd Amendment rights opponents knew he would veto it. After Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in as Governor, SB 337 was sent to him even though the 100th General Assembly had ended and the 101st General Assembly had already begun.

“The political gamesmanship to get this legislation signed into law is appalling,” Pearson said. “Rules and deadlines apparently mean nothing to advocates for gun control. Senate Bill 337 should have died in the 100th General Assembly. We are left with no choice but to challenge this terrible new law in court.”

The law requires federally licensed gun dealers to obtain a state license to sell firearms. Federal licenses cost $90 for three years. A dealer with no posted hours must pay $300 for a three-year license – more than 300 percent of what the cost of a federal dealer license is. If a dealer has posted hours (even as little as one hour) the dealer must pay $1,500 for a three-year state license – more than 16 times the cost of a federal license. 

“There is no need for this law,” Pearson said. “The federal government already licenses gun dealers.  All this does is create more red tape and increase the cost of doing business. We said we would challenge this law in court when it was signed, and today we are keeping that promise.”

According to a recent news report from the Center Square, there are 2,351 federally licensed firearms dealers in Illinois but only 1,140 of those dealers applied for states licenses – a difference of 1,211 or more than half the number of federally licensed dealers.  
“This law was never about public safety,” Pearson said. “It was always intended to have a chilling effect on the firearms industry, and it is working. There are now more than 1,200 local businesses no longer in business thanks to this law. It is a blow to the 2nd Amendment and to the Illinois economy. The ISRA will keep fighting to get this onerous law overturned.”

For more information on the 2nd Amendment issues facing Illinois, log onto www.isra.org

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