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
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.