Harmon, Activists Urge Governor to Sign Gun Dealer Licensing Act

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, fellow legislators, gun violence prevention advocates and victims of gun violence in calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to sign the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. The measure would allow Illinois to license gun dealers, holding corrupt dealers accountable and cracking down on straw purchases. According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago from 2009-2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers. At a press conference this morning, Harmon said the measure is not only good policy, but also has broad public support. “If the public policy doesn’t convince the governor, I hope that perhaps the politics will,” Harmon said. “Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans want this bill signed. He should sign it today. We’ll even give him the pen.”

Senate Bill 1657 passed the Senate last April and the House last month with bipartisan support. Rauner has yet to indicate whether he intends to sign it into law. State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who cosponsored the measure, joined Harmon at Monday’s press conference and shared the impact gun violence has had on his life. “I joined this journey because I experienced gun violence directly outside my home,” Raoul said. “This is personal. I struggle with why this is being politicized into a difficult decision. This is a simple decision about accountability.” CPD Superintendent Johnson called the measure “commonsense legislation” and said he was proud to lend his voice to the group calling on the governor to sign it into law. “As a Chicago police officer, I’ve seen guns tear apart families and cut lives far too short for 30 years. Last month, I had the difficult task of delivering the tragic news to Commander Paul Bauer’s family after he was murdered by a repeat offender.” Johnson said. Senate Bill 1657 was delivered to the governor’s desk on March 1. If he does not sign or veto it in 60 days, it automatically becomes law.

[Editor’s Note: Upon the print of the article, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the Gun Dealer’s Licensing Bill.]

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