A proposal advocated by national and state gun control groups mandating local licensing, training and inspections on already legal gun stores tanked in the state House this week.
The bill, HB 1016, was originally an environmental regulatory change introduced by Rep. Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, in February, but switched to Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison, in May and was amended to bring a host of regulations to federally licensed firearm dealers in the state. It came up short this week at the end of session with a final vote of 43-55.
The measure had the backing of Illinois Senate President Pro Tempore Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, who submitted a gun dealer licensing bill last year that failed to gain traction. It would have required background checks for gun dealer employees, special training to help employees spot straw purchases, and inspections by state officials to identify missing firearms in dealers’ inventories to keep a proposed state-issued license.
“We’ve been working on these issues for years, and the key thing I’ve learned is this: somewhere in the stream of commerce between a gun manufacturer and a crime scene there is someone purporting to be a law-abiding gun owner, buyer or seller who is anything but,” said Harmon in conjunction with a press conference featuring Willis and former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly last month to support the initiative.
Besides the backing of the Giffords/Kelly national group, their newly formed state affiliate– the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition– stumped for…