WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Gov. Rauner Vetoes Gun Dealer Licensing Measure

Mar 14, 2018
Originally published on March 13, 2018 4:27 pm

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday vetoed the only gun-control legislation to reach his desk — one month after the Parkland, Florida shooting.

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would have required gun shops to register with the state and pay a $1,000 fee every five years. Backers say it would help keep guns away from criminals.

Rauner, who’s facing a primary challenge from the right and had been silent on what he'd do, announced his plan to veto the bill in an interview with WJPF radio Tuesday morning.

He says the proposal is not the right approach. "It’s redundant on top of existing federal regulations, it’s crushing to our small business owners and creates bureaucracy that really doesn’t help keep our communities safer.”

The governor’s veto comes despite pressure from Democrats, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Cardinal Blase Cupich. Johnson and Cupich made trips to Springfield to push lawmakers for support late last month.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had also asked the governor to approve the measure. In a statement Tuesday, he called the veto “cruel” and “cold.”

State Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, and sponsor of the measure, says the governor’s decision is about politics. “Rauner’s obviously chosen to be the lap dog for the NRA, rather than represent the people of the state of Illinois. He wants to win his primary and neglect his primary responsibilities," he said.

Rauner faces conservative challenger Jeanne Ives in next week’s Republican primary.

Harmon says he’ll try to override the governor’s veto, but he’ll need support from senators who previously voted no.

Copyright 2018 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.