Illinois governor says gun control bill 'just not right,' promises veto

By Sara Shayanian  |  Updated March 14, 2018 at 11:16 AM
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March 13 (UPI) -- Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he'll reject legislation to mandate gun shops in his state obtain licenses to sell firearms.

The governor said during a radio interview the bill was "just not right."

"I'm going to veto that bill," he added. "It's unnecessary, burdensome regulation."

The bill was passed by Illinois' legislature just days after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people and spurred legislative action across the United States.

The Illinois bill sought to order gun shop owners to get a license from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and to renew them every five years. Under the law, store owners would also be obligated to train employees to conduct background checks and spot potential straw purchasers.

Rauner's promise to veto the bill comes a week before his party's primary election against Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who voted against the firearms restrictions.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted Tuesday that Rauner's "failure will be his legacy."

"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 & 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."

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton urged Rauner to reconsider his threat.

"He knows this is a good law, one needed to increase safety in Illinois," Cullerton said in a statement. "I would urge Governor Rauner to think this through and do what's responsible as opposed to what's political."

The National Rifle Association applauded Rauner for rejecting the bill.

"The bill Gov. Rauner vetoed today was a dramatic overreach designed specifically to close as many Illinois federally licensed firearm dealers as possible," NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said in a statement to UPI. "Now it's up to the law-abiding gun owners of Illinois to let their lawmakers know this type of infringement upon their Second Amendment rights is completely unacceptable."

Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a $400 million reform package to implement additional school safety measures and gun restrictions.

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