No, Illinois Gun Dealers Shouldn't Have To Get A State License

“It’s for the children!”

That old canard, the standard for leftists dismantling our civil liberties, is more of a punchline than a standard argument these days. By now, most on the left understand that not only is it an unpersuasive argument, but it’s likely to be the target of mockery and derision.


Unfortunately, it seems no one told Dahleen Glanton of the Chicago Tribune because she penned a column titled, “When our babies fear they will be shot, it’s time to make gun dealers more accountable.

Now, let’s ignore, for a moment, that gun dealers are already pretty accountable. Every day, numerous gun dealers step up and refuse to sell guns in situations where they could probably get away with it from a legal standpoint, but refused out of a sense of moral duty.

Glanton doesn’t want to hear about that. She just thinks gun dealers are to blame for Chicago’s crime problem, and here’s what she thinks needs to be done.

During the second half of their veto session beginning Nov. 7, the Illinois House of Representatives will get another chance to consider SB1657, legislation that passed the Senate in April to help gun dealers keep their firearms from ending up in the hands of criminals.

The bill would require Illinois gun dealers to get a state license, and also would require background checks on dealers and their employees. Dealers also would be required to undergo training to prevent straw purchases — those made by people who can legally purchase a firearm on behalf of someone legally barred from buying guns. The legislation also would allow for videotaping of gun transactions so that straw purchasers can be identified.

It is true that such a law would place more responsibility on gun shops. But is that too much to ask when hundreds of people are shot to death in Chicago each year with firearms that were obtained illegally?


Yes, it actually would.

First, requiring Illinois gun dealers to get a state license makes it sound like gun dealers aren’t licensed. They are. By the federal government, which also has helpfully provided a mountain of regulations each dealer has to keep straight or else face possible prison time. Now Illinois wants to add to this burden?

How will that stop crime in Chicago? It won’t.

The bill will also require Illinois dealers to undergo training to help identify straw buyers, thus creating a training burden that will do little to curb straw purchases in any meaningful way but will make it far more difficult for gun stores to conduct business. Of course, for Chicago liberals, that’s probably a feature, not a bug, but still.

Further, this does absolutely nothing about gun stores outside of Illinois. The recent study found that a 60 percent of these straw buys took place at dealers outside of the state.

Look, if you want to combat illegal gun sales, target the people responsible. If the dealers are acting illegally, prosecute them. If they’re acting in good faith, leave them alone and go after the guys actually making the straw buys (who should be targeted either way). There’s absolutely no reason to punish lawful dealers with yet more burdensome regulations and licensing–which is probably more about generating revenue off of gun stores than actually combating crime–just because of the actions of a handful of people.


Many of the good, decent people who would be targeted and possibly lose their livelihoods are people with families, with children.

Leave them alone. It’s for the children!

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