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Galesburg gun shop manager says new proposed rules are too harsh

An area gun shop manager believes new proposed gun rules will hurt his small business and won’t stop criminals from getting their hands on guns.

GALESBURG, Illinois - The Illinois State Police have proposed a new set of rules and regulations for gun shops across the state and an area gun shop manager says, if the rules are approved, they would only hurt his business.

Preston Johnson is the general manager at Galesburg Guns, Gear and Ammo.

He says the rules being proposed by police are unfair and argues that they are unconstitutional.

Signed back in January, the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act requires gun shops to apply for a "certificate of license."

The law aims at keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people, but Johnson says the certificates are too expensive for small businesses in the state. He believes this is true because prices for retail shops are more expensive than for non-retail dealers.

"If a guy has a gun shop out of his house, he pays $300 per year. We pay $1,500. So, I have to pay the same as Cabela`s and Bass Pro Shop and all those big warehouse people," Johnson said.

Now, Illinois State Police are proposing a new set of rules that would require retail shops to follow set rules and regulations along with obtaining that certificate.

The rules were proposed on August 23.

Those woulds would take effect on January 2, 2020 and would require certified gun dealers to have specific electronic security alarms and camera systems, an electronic record system to track inventory, and stricter records systems that track sales and transactions.

"We have alarms and video cameras and gates and bars and all that stuff," said Johnson.

He said upgrading his equipment would cost him thousands of dollars if the new rules take effect.

"All these rules and regulations are an extra expense. It isn`t going to effect anything whatsoever when it comes to less guns getting on to the street," said Johnson.

Governor Pritzker signed the bill saying the new regulations would help keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

Johnson argues that most guns are not stolen from

"Criminals steal from homes, cars, trucks, whatever. It`s not going to do anything for that," said Johnson.

A push for stricter gun regulations, receiving push-back from people who sell guns.

The Illinois state police is accepting public comment about the new rules. During a 45-day review period. Anyone can provide feedback by emailing ISP.Rulemaking@Illinois.gov or by mailing Mr. Matthew R. Rentschler, Chief Legal Counsel of Illinois State Police. Mail should be addressed to 801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S, Springfield, IL 62703.

The new rules are published on the Illinois Register on the August 23 link. (click here.)