Illinois Gun Store Closing Its Doors, Citing 'Political Storm' Against Industry

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

For twelve years, Doug and Staci Duncan have selling everything from firearms and ammunition to bait and fishing supplies out of their store Bordertown Guns, located in Momence, Illinois. The store also serves as one of the few indoor gun and archery ranges in the Kankakee area, but next Wednesday the Duncans are going to say goodbye to their gun shop. 

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In a post on Facebook, the Duncans announced their decision to close Bordertown Guns, citing a "political storm" in Illinois that has made it untenable for smaller shops like theirs to continue to operate. 

With much consideration and regret, we are no longer able to weather the political storm in Illinois. With the current administration in power, they have made it impossible for our business plan to work. We have made the painful decision to close our doors. The Illinois PICA ruling, a recession, and restrictions with social media, we have hit a wall to try and stay in business. 

Thanks to the Protect Illinois Communities Act and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision to stay an injunction that had blocked the law from being enforced, shops like Bordertown Guns are unable to sell some of the most commonly-owned long guns in the country. "Large capacity" magazines are also banned for sale. 

In addition to PICA, gun stores in Illinois are also subjected to the provisions of the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act, which requires FFLs to be licensed by the state government as well as the feds. Illinois gun stores are required to have expensive (and extensive) video surveillance systems and other security measures in place, which add to the costs of doing business in the state. 

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 We have tried every avenue with many financial institutions and organizations to try to remain in the fight here in Illinois. We were met with the same answer. Guns are not a commodity that this state wants here. 

Since the announcement, the Duncans have been met with an outpouring of support from gun owners in the community. Some folks have expressed their heartache at the news, while others have encouraged the Duncans to re-open their store in a friendlier environment like Indiana or Florida. 

The past five years have been rough for the firearms industry in Illinois. Several shops announced their closures in the wake of the Firearms Dealer Certification Act, and the passage of PICA has forced other retailers to shut down as well. 

For anti-gun lawmakers in Springfield, that's an added bonus to the gun and magazine ban they adopted in 2023. The primary goal of the gun control bill was to halt the sale and spread of so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines, but its sponsors aren't going to shed any tears over the closure of gun stores and ranges. 

The gun control lobby isn't content to keep this strategy confined to Illinois either. Colorado lawmakers adopted their own state-level licensing law this session, and we're likely to see similar bills introduced in other blue states in 2025. Burying smaller shops under a mountain of red tape and costly mandates won't stop criminals from illegally acquiring firearms, but it's proven to be very successful at forcing independent stores to close their doors. 

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The Duncans haven't announced their future plans, but Momence isn't too far from the Indiana border, so hopefully Bordertown Guns will re-open in a free state at some point. The small town of Momence is still going to feel a big impact from Bordertown Guns' closure, and sadly, it's not going to be the last community to be harmed by the anti-gun zealotry at the state capitol. 

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