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Lack of clear gun laws has owners closing up shop in Illinois

(WGEM) --- New gun laws in Illinois that were supposed to take effect at the start of the month are still under review.

State officials say a lack of clear rules and late deadlines forced gun dealers in rural areas to get out of the business and not seek a license.

At Farm and Home Supply in Quincy, the manager says there are a few things that are different when you go to buy a gun.

The new laws focus on electronic record-keeping and video surveillance.

Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois Executive Director Todd Vandermyde said there has been no clarity on what kind of electronic record keeping or video surveillance systems will be accepted as compliant with the law, something the rules should spell out.

Despite that, Farm and Home says they are well ahead of the curve and have both of those rules in place.

"Everything that is required to be done on a computer is being done on a computer and has been for some time," Manager Leon Obert said. "We do all the measures necessary and even a couple of others extra at times to make sure that the laws are up to date and we are running smoothly with it."

Obert adds some customers have been upset over the process at times.

"We are on top of the game when it comes to selling firearms," Obert said. "However, it is a little frustrating when a customer comes in and we have to ask them questions and fill out their 44-73 and all the paperwork before we make the sales transaction."

Illinois State Police say they hope to see those rules published this week by the Secretary of State, but no timetable has been set.

Here was Governor JB Pritzker's response when lawmakers approved the changes last January.

He said, “These laws were long-overdue step to do more to prevent gun violence, to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands, to make sure that we license gun shops just like restaurant and other businesses, and deter straw purchases, so that we can prevent someone from buying a gun for someone who is not legally allowed to own a gun.”

Drew Veskauf

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