CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois House was expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would allow the state to license gun dealers, and require most of them to install video surveillance systems.
Currently, the state’s gun shops are only licensed through federal laws.
The Illinois senate approved the licensing requirement in April. The legislation would include exemptions for big box stores where gun sales account for 20 percent or less of their overall sales, small dealers who sell less than 10 guns a year, gun rentals at firing ranges or training classes, collectors selling off their collections, sales of inoperable guns, and gun owners selling weapons after having their FOID card revoked.
The legislation also would allow local law-enforcement agencies the ability to audit gun stores once a year.
It also would require more video surveillance and staff training in gun stores. Video footage would have to be saved for at least 90 days.
Gun-control advocates have said federal regulators essentially have been stripped of their power by gun lobbying groups, so the state needs to regulate gun sales.
“People who operate as gun dealers are only visited once every three years. The funding for reviewing them has been gutted by the federal government, and the gun industry has made sure that these people in the business of selling guns have a minimal amount of regulations,” said Dan Kotowski, a former state senator who now runs ChildServ, a non-profit that helps at-risk children and families.
Gun dealers have said the new rules could drive them out of business.
They also have said the regulations will only make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to buy guns for protection.