While Illinois Democrats may pretend they’re for the little guy, they have no problem at all trying to crush small businesses.

I’m sure they’ll disagree with this characterization, but it’s true. Illinois Democrats see no problem passing regulations that will disproportionately impact small businesses while empowering their larger competitors. If you want them to openly brag about doing it, you need to make it so that the businesses they’re crushing are gun stores.

You see, Illinois lawmakers think gun stores should have to get additional licensing on top of the federal requirements to operate. A license already vetoed once.

Well, they’re at it again, and this time it’s become law.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to sign a bill Thursday that would give the state more oversight over Illinois gun dealers, after Democrats kept the paperwork off former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk in order to avoid a veto during his administration’s final days, according to a state lawmaker.

The proposal would require firearm stores to get state licenses, a move that supporters contend could reduce gun violence because federal regulators are stretched too thin to adequately handle all the shops operating in Illinois.

Pritzker is set to sign it into law at a Chicago school Thursday morning, according to Democratic state Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park, the proposal’s sponsor. Lawmakers approved it last year in the wake of the killing of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer and the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

“This is a common-sense piece of legislation, so when I introduced it a decade and a half ago, I thought we would be celebrating this day much sooner,” Harmon said. “But important causes are worth fighting for, and I am proud to stand with the countless advocates and supporters who have stuck with us for all these years.”

A Pritzker spokeswoman declined to comment.

Rauner vetoed a similar proposal in the spring, calling it “duplicative” because the federal government already licenses firearms retailers. He said adding another layer of oversight would be costly for businesses and “do little to improve public safety.”

And, for the record, there’s no problem with the federal licensing process.

No, what Illinois wanted to do is create more hurdles for these small businessmen and women to jump through to operate their stores. They seem to think they can stop, or at least minimize, crime by going after the lawful gun stores in their state. Too bad for them that we already know how criminals get their guns.

This isn’t about combating crime or anything else.

No, it’s about punishing these stores for having the nerve to exist in a state that doesn’t want them there. Nevermind that the only part of Illinois that doesn’t is Chicago, a warzone that persists in being one despite myriad gun control laws already on the books. Why it’s like those laws are useless, isn’t it?

But don’t worry. Here comes the state government with yet another law that won’t do anything except hurt law-abiding citizens.

The headline and story have been updated.