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State

Pritzker signs bill allowing Illinois to license gun dealers

J.B. Pritzker takes the oath of office from Judge James Snyder as his wife M.K. looks on during the Illinois inaugural ceremony at the Bank of Springfield Center Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)
J.B. Pritzker takes the oath of office from Judge James Snyder as his wife M.K. looks on during the Illinois inaugural ceremony at the Bank of Springfield Center Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker authorized state regulation of firearms dealers Thursday in a reversal of his predecessor’s policy and prompting a gun owners group to threaten legal action against Illinois.

Pritzker, sworn in Monday, chose an elementary school in Chicago to sign legislation meant to cut down on illegal purchases of firearms through video monitoring, tighter inventory control and gun-shop employee training.

“We can prevent someone from buying a gun for someone else who is not legally allowed to own a gun,” said Pritzker, standing next to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, whose force confiscated 10,000 illegal guns last year. “Many of the incidents of gun violence that occur in our city and all across our state occur with illegal guns.”

The law affects about 2,400 firearms dealers and its provisions take effect in six months. Each must show it is licensed with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and buy a five-year state permit – $1,500 for retail shops and $300 for independent dealers.

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