Gun dealer licensing bill waits for Rauner's signature

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The first piece of a comprehensive package of gun bills is now in the hands of Governor Bruce Rauner, waiting for his signature.

The bill would require state licensing of gun dealers. But just how quickly will the governor act with the primary less than three weeks away?

The governor's office said Rauner will review bills when they are sent to him, but there was no indication of how soon he might take action. Under the state constitution he has 60 days and political analysts don't expect Rauner to do anything before the primary.

Rauner is expected to sign some of the legislation that lawmakers will send him, and has express support specifically on a ban on bump stocks, which the House overwhelmingly approved Wednesday. He has also expressed general support for bills that keep guns out of the wrong hands and make schools safer.

But the first piece of legislation he will have a chance to consider is one that requires gun dealers to be licensed by the state. It would require employees to undergo background checks and dealers to have video surveillance systems as part of an effort to cut down on straw purchases.

"He's got a lot at stake before the primary, he doesn't want to further alienate conservative voters, the kinds of voters that Jeanne Ives is after. So he would probably want to play it safe and not do anything until after the primary," said ABC 7 Political Analyst Laura Washington.

The Democratic Governors Association launched a digital ad Thursday designed to put pressure on the governor to act.

"Enough with Governor Rauner letting the NRA call the shots and saying, 'I'm not in charge,'" the ad says.

The ad follows a rally at the capitol Wednesday by several hundred people supporting gun safety measures and the gun dealer licensing bill in particular.

But if the governor waits to act on the bill, it may be with a bigger picture in mind as he waits to see what other gun bills lawmakers send him.

"I think what he's going to do is take a comprehensive approach to this, he's going to look at everything that's in front of him, because it's not a simple one bill solution, and make a decision on what's best for the state of Illinois, what best protects our citizens. I think that's what the decision's going to be made upon, I really don't think it's a political calculation," said Republican consultant Pat Brady.

Late Thursday afternoon the governor's office reiterated his support for finding common sense solutions to gun violence in a bipartisan way, but offered no insight into how soon the governor would sign any legislation.

But in this election season, there is a political component to every decision on such important issues as gun control.
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