Gov. Pritzker Signs SB 337 Requiring State Certification for Gun Dealers
Jan 18, 2019 11:22AM
By Hannah Ott
Chicago - Surrounded by gun violence survivors, prevention advocates, community leaders and elected officials who have worked for years to require licenses for gun dealers, Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 337 on Thursday, January 17.
The bill will combat the scourge of illegal gun trafficking, finally making Illinois the 16th state to require gun dealers to be certified by the state after more than a decade of work.
“Gun violence isn’t an issue facing one city, or one region, or one group of people — it affects us all, and I want to thank all those tireless advocates who didn’t rest until our state took commonsense action to prevent gun trafficking,” said Governor Pritzker.
“This bipartisan law is a long-overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands, to make sure that we license gun shops just like restaurant and other businesses, and deter straw purchases, so that we can prevent someone from buying a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to own a gun.”
The gun violence prevention measure is the second bill Gov. Pritzker signed into law since taking office Monday. SB 337 creates two acts that allow the state to regulate gun dealers and gather information on private sales and illegal gun transfers.
The Firearm Dealer License Certification Act requires any gun dealer in the State of Illinois be certified by the Illinois State Police (ISP). State-licensed dealers are required to provide annual training to employees, have video surveillance in gun stores, and be open for inspection by ISP and local law enforcement.
The Gun Trafficking Information Act requires ISP to publish key information related to crime-related firearms and imposes penalties on individuals who fail to maintain a record of a private sale.
The state will use these acts to reduce the tragic gun violence that affects so many communities. Delphine Cherry, a mother of two victims of gun violence, is one of those community members. She shares her appreciation for the new change, stating “Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for taking action to stop the gun violence."
"27 years ago today, I lost my daughter Tyesa to gun violence committed by a 14-year-old who had an illegal gun. Twenty years later, my son Tyler was murdered three days before Christmas. Since I lost Tyesa and Tyler to gun violence, I have made it my mission to make sure no other parent has to join the worst club that I belong to: the club of parents who have lost their children to gun violence. This bill will make sure gun dealers are held accountable and stop them from illegally selling guns like the one used to kill my daughter,” said Cherry.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson looks forward to the bill's implementation. He stated, “The tools provided in this legislation to state and local police will significantly help our ability to regulate gun dealers and monitor and interdict the illegal flow of guns into cities like Chicago.”
“I would like to thank Governor Pritzker for making commonsense licensing one of the first new laws he enacts as governor,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
“Gun violence is prevalent in too many neighborhoods and communities throughout the state, my own included. We must take a comprehensive approach to addressing the level of violence in Illinois.”
Source: Gov.Press@illinois.gov, Photo: Office of Gov. JB Pritzker