CHICAGO (CBS) — It took 16 years of work in the legislature, but Thursday Gov. JB Pritzker signed a landmark gun control bill into law.

With the signing of the law, Illinois solidified its position in the ranks with states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, which have some of the most comprehensive laws on the books.

Des Plaines gun dealer Dan Eldridge echoes concerns from critics of the law that the rules are onerous.

“They are duplicative of what we have with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,” Eldridge, the owner of Maxon Shooter Supplies, said.

California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and, now, Illinois all require the background checks on employees. They all require that dealers are licensed by the state. And also like the law Pritzker signed Thursday, they require certain security measures like proper storage.

But very few states require the video surveillance now mandated and brick and mortar locations.

Eldridge says the burdens such as cost associated with these security requirements are unknown.

“We don’t know,” he said. “What are the rules going to look like? It’s an unknown. The whole thing is an unknown, and as a business person of course you hate uncertainty.”

But according to the lawmakers present at Thursday’s signing, it’s the right thing to do.

“That’s how we’ll build safer and healthier communities, working together and listening to one another,” Pritzker said. “That’s how we’ll save lives, and that’s what today is all about.”

CBS 2 looked into the most recent data available from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find out whether these types of regulations make streets safer. They track recovered guns that were used in crimes.

In 2016 about 33 percent of the guns recovered in crimes in Illinois were bought in Illinois. In the same year, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey all had rates well below Illinois. But 43 percent of the recovered guns in California were purchased in the state. So it’s unclear from the numbers if these measures make streets safer.

The Illinois State Rifle Association says this law will be challenged legally, and they will be involved but do not have any specific plans yet.

 

 

Megan Hickey