In an interview yesterday 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.
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.
I hope your newsroom will be covering the real effects this legislation could have if enacted if lawmakers override the governor’s veto. For more information about the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, please don’t hesitate to reach out.