Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) will veto legislation that would require gun retailers to be licensed by the state of Illinois.
The measure passed the Democratic-controlled legislature just days after the massacre at a Parkland, Fla., high school. It would have required gun dealers in Illinois to obtain a license through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, to renew those licenses every five years, and to train their employees to conduct background checks and spot potential straw purchasers.
But Gov. Rauner told WJPF radio in southern Illinois on Tuesday morning that the legislation is an “unnecessary, burdensome regulation.”
“I’m going to veto that bill. It’s just not right,” Rauner said in an interview with WJPF, a radio station in southern Illinois. “It’s unnecessary, burdensome regulation.”
The veto comes a week before the state’s primary election in which the Republican faces a challenge from state Rep. Jeanne Ives. The Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed the measure about two weeks ago. Rauner has 60 days to take action on it.
The bill has the backing of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. On Tuesday, Emanuel called Rauner’s veto “a slap in the face to crime victims, faith leaders and police” who pleaded with him to sign the legislation.
In a statement, Emanuel criticized Rauner, saying he is playing politics.
“With one week left in his campaign, Governor Rauner just put his primary election ahead of his primary responsibility to protect the safety of the people of Chicago and Illinois,” Emanuel said. “The governor’s decision was cruel, it was cold and it was calculated to benefit his own politics at the expense of public safety.”