Illi­nois gov­er­nor ve­toes bill to li­cense gun stores

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner ve­toed leg­is­la­tion Tues­day that would have re­quired gun re­tail­ers to be li­censed by the state of Illi­nois, call­ing it “un­nec­es­sary, bur­den­some reg­u­la­tion” that would have hurt small busi­ness own­ers and wouldn’t have made com­mu­ni­ties safer.

“The core is­sue is not which guns to legally ban or reg­u­late,” the Repub­li­can 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 veto comes a week be­fore the state’s pri­mary elec­tion in which Rauner faces a chal­lenge from con­ser­va­tive state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who says Rauner has be­trayed Repub­li­cans with his ac­tions on sev­eral is­sues. Last week, Ives’ cam­paign crit­i­cized the gov­er­nor for not pub­licly stat­ing his po­si­tion on the li­cens­ing bill, call­ing it “the pre­lude to yet an­other be­trayal.”

The Demo­cratic-con­trolled Gen­eral As­sem­bly passed the mea­sure and sent it to Rauner about two weeks ago, giv­ing him 60 days to take ac­tion on it.

The bill had the back­ing of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Ed­die John­son, as well as the three lead­ing Democrats seek­ing their party’s nom­i­na­tion for gov­er­nor on March 20. On Tues­day, Emanuel called Rauner’s veto “a slap in the face to crime vic­tims, faith lead­ers and po­lice” who pleaded with him to sign the leg­is­la­tion.

“With one week left in his cam­paign, Gov­er­nor Rauner just put his pri­mary elec­tion ahead of his pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the safety of the peo­ple of Chicago and Illi­nois,” Emanuel said in a state­ment. “The gov­er­nor’s de­ci­sion was cruel, it was cold and it was cal­cu­lated to ben­e­fit his own pol­i­tics at the ex­pense of pub­lic safety.”

The bill was among sev­eral mea­sures passed in re­sponse to the shoot­ing deaths of 17 peo­ple at a Florida school and on­go­ing gun vi­o­lence in Chicago, in­clud­ing the fa­tal shoot­ing of a Chicago po­lice com­man­der. It would have re­quired the Illi­nois De­part­ment of Fi­nan­cial and Pro­fes­sional Reg­u­la­tion to col­lect $1,000 from each dealer for a five-year li­cense. It also would have re­quired train­ing for gun shop em­ploy­ees and video­tap­ing of “crit­i­cal ar­eas” of busi­nesses, in­clud­ing where guns are stored.

The spon­sor, Ad­di­son Demo­cratic Rep. Kath­leen Willis, has said that state over­sight would iden­tify and elim­i­nate the prac­tice of straw pur­chasers buy­ing guns legally and then sell­ing them to crim­i­nals.

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