Update 5/11/2017: Witness slips are now available. Please go to http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/104404?committeehearingId=14949&LegislationId=104404&CommitteeHearings-page=1 to file yours!
Be sure to mark OPPONENT!
Schrank’s Smoke ‘N Gun Statement Regarding Gun Dealer Licensing Act
Schrank’s Smoke ‘N Gun is extremely dismayed that the Illinois State Senate passed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act – SB1657 – on April 27.
We believe that the Gun Dealer Licensing Act represents a significant overreach by the state legislature. Gun dealers are currently licensed and regulated by the BATF, as well as the traditional business license requirements by the state of Illinois. The policies proposed in this bill offer broad powers to a small appointed board:
- Licensing board consists of 5 appointed members to “recommend policies, procedures, and rules.”
- Customer records and business documents will be accessible to state agents on demand.
- Allows for warrantless inspections by the State Police.
- Establishes undefined licenses and fees, in addition to those already required by state and federal agencies.
- Penalties for non-compliance are substantial, even though the rules have not been established.
- In addition to a federal license, dealers would be required to obtain an Illinois dealer license and pass a written exam.
- Employees would be required to have a FOID or concealed carry license, likely eliminating out of state employees.
- Requires video surveillance, video storage and motion detectors to an extent that may be cost prohibitive to small businesses.
- Board can make rules at any time.
- This Act does not apply to big box stores or manufacturers.
We contend that these and other provisions constitute broad sweeping powers for a state agency. We also contend that in order to comply with this act, the financial requirements and unknown fees would be burdensome to small businesses. By exempting big box retailers, it is obvious that the intent of this bill is to target small business gun dealers, regardless of the overall percentage of firearms sold in such businesses.
Schrank’s Smoke ‘N Gun has been owned and operated by the Schrank family since 1964. We profoundly believe in the Second Amendment and responsible firearm ownership. Our business adheres to the law, both state and federal, and will continue to do so. Proponents of this bill suggest that they are simply trying to prevent illegal firearm transfers. We are absolutely committed to preventing illegal firearm transfers; however, this bill will simply burden dealers who already comply with current laws and regulations. Our industry is already highly regulated by the BATF, we believe that a state agency with even more power will cripple small business firearm dealers in Illinois.
Please join with us to stop the Gun Dealer Licensing Act!
What We Can Do NOW
1. Get informed.
Go to the source and read the legislation – it has already passed the IL Senate and being considered by the House.
Read the full text of SB1657 here. (link opens externally)
2. Stay informed.
Subscribe to and support NRA-ILA here:
NRA-ILA is on the front line and continuously sends updates about legislation that affect your rights.
3. Contact your State Representative.
You need to do this as soon as possible! Notify your Representative that you oppose SB1657. As always, your interaction should be respectful and provide support for your position.
If you do not know your State Representative, check here:
Even though the bill has already passed the Senate, it can’t hurt to contact your State Senator to express your opinion regarding his or her vote.
If you do not know your State Senator, check here:
4. When Available, Fill Out Witness Slips.
As SB1657 progresses in the House of Representatives, you may complete a witness slip at:
Witness slips can be completed on behalf of an individual or on behalf of an organization. Be sure that you indicate your opposition to this bill. We will do our best to notify you when witness slips are available.
5. Contact Governor Rauner.
Notify Governor Rauner that you do NOT support the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. In the unfortunate event that the bill arrives at his desk, he should veto it without hesitation!
Find contact information for Governor Rauner’s office here:
6. Continue to Support Small Business Gun Dealers.
Of course we want you to continue to support Schrank’s Smoke ‘N Gun, but also our friendly, hardworking competition. We are energized and motivated with your encouragement. We believe that we can work together to defeat this bill!
7. Make Your Voice Heard.
Please continue to share this message through social media and online forums . . . even conversations with your neighbors. Inform others about the onerous nature of this bill. We are doing our best to keep firearms out of the hands of unlawful users – this bill will simply burden dealers who already comply with current laws and regulations.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
The Schrank Family and Staff