information provided by the Office of the Governor
CHICAGO, Ill. (January 17, 2019) — 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 to combat the scourge of illegal gun trafficking, making Illinois the 16th state to require gun dealers to be certified by the state.
“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 restaurants 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 to 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.
State licensing will hold gun dealers responsible while the state takes action to reduce the tragic gun violence that affects so many communities.
“As one of his first official acts to sign the gun dealer licensing bill, this speaks volumes about the Governor’s commitment and passion to help Chicago reduce gun violence,” said Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “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.”
“In 2018, the most prosecuted offense by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office was the unlawful use of a weapon,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. “It is past time that we do more to keep illegal firearms off of our streets, and today’s signing of SB 337 is a step in the right direction. I look forward to a continued partnership with the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker on sensible legislation to make Cook County safer.”