SPRINGFIELD – Tuesday, Governor Rauner vetoed a measure sent to him by Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly that would require gun shop owners another layer of accountability – this time to the state in addition to the federal ATF agency. Several gun control laws were sent to the governor after 17 Florida high school students were killed by a lone shooter in February.
“The core issue is not which guns to legally ban or regulate,” he said. “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 Illinois or prevent people from committing thousands of crimes in our state each year with illegal guns.”
The Governor said that to focus solely on guns exaggerates the divide in society over constitutional rights, when there is actually substantial common ground on which to build comprehensive solutions. He cited two common universal concerns: guns in the hands of criminals; and guns in the hands of the mentally ill.
“These are starting points that ought to bring us together for serious conversations about how to secure our schools, combat crime, and make everyone in Illinois safer,” Rauner said.
The Illinois Gun Lobby Facebook called Rauner's veto "good news."
But the gun control group Everytown.org responded negatively. Thursday morning, lawmakers that sponsored the vetoed bill said they were considering an effort to override Rauner's veto.
In an interview Tuesday before vetoing the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, Gov. Bruce Rauner said the bill is unnecessary because of federal regulation and suggested it would not improve public safety. On both counts, he’s incorrect, Everytown's press release says.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is legally permitted to inspect a gun dealer for compliance once each year. But the agency’s limited resources mean that in practice, only 42 percent of dealers are inspected by the ATF in any five-year period. The ATF is also barred by a malicious federal budget rider — written by the gun lobby — from requiring dealers to check inventories against sales, even though routine physical inventory checks allow dealers to more quickly detect lost and stolen guns and notify law enforcement.
"All of this helps explain why research has shown that state laws regulating gun dealers help reduce illegal gun trafficking. The study found that cities in states with strong laws regulating the conduct of gun dealers experienced lower levels of intrastate gun trafficking," the group said.