March 13, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 1657 from the 100th General Assembly, which would create a largely duplicative state level of licensing and regulation of gun dealers on top of existing federal licensing and regulation that would do little to improve public safety.
The core issue is not which guns to legally ban or regulate. We have ample proof that such narrowly focused legislative responses make for good political cover, but they do little to stop the illegal flow of guns into Illinois or prevent people from committing thousands of crimes in our state each year with illegal guns.
While I cannot support this costly and largely redundant legislation, I am committed to engaging in thoughtful, bipartisan conversation to prevent criminals from gaining access to guns.
Our state is in desperate need of public safety solutions that will protect our citizens from those who would do them harm. There are no easy answers or quick fixes to the threat of gun violence, but answers do exist if we have the political will to work together to quickly develop and implement a comprehensive package of practical solutions.
Positions divide, but interests unite. All sides of the gun debate share a common interest to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. In the coming days I plan to roll out a plan to achieve that goal and provide real solutions to real problems. I look forward to working with all parties willing to come together to secure our schools, combat crime, and make everyone in Illinois safer.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 1657, entitled “AN ACT concerning firearms”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.