EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed new legislation that bans the sale of assault weapons.
Legal gun owners will have to register each of their current weapons with the Illinois State Police by the end of the year.
Illinois joins a small list of states that have banned the sale of assault weapons. The new law has already sent shockwaves through the gun dealing business.
Randy Sutton has been in the gun dealing business for 49 years. He owns Sutton’s Crazyhorse Guns and Archery in Paris.
He’s seen plenty of gun legislation passed before, but none like what was implemented earlier this week.
“It’s not going to slow the crime and violence,” Sutton explained. “It’s just putting an extra burden on the honest citizens.”
However, some Illinois state legislators would disagree.
Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, D-Hillside, praised the passage of the bill and said it will keep Illinois safe.
“We have reached a deal on one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the country,” Welch said. “It’s time that we protect Illinois communities.”
Sutton explained that his business could take a financial hit because of this legislation. He estimated that roughly 25% of his sales stem from assault rifles. As things stand now, that’s all but gone.
“I’m going to lose things like extra magazine sales and the sales of the guns themselves,” Sutton said.
The new law is set to face a period of legal limbo with a near certain challenge in court from the Illinois State Rifle Association. Executive Director Richard Pearson made their intentions clear in a letter.
“The Illinois State Rifle Association will see the State of Illinois in court,” Pearson said.
Sutton said he’s unsure of what’s next for his inventory of assault rifles. He suggested that he’ll look to sell more in Indiana because he’s licensed to do so.
“I’m assuming that I’ll still be able to have high capacity mags and ARs,” Sutton explained. “I can sell out of state, I sell quite a few guns in Indiana.”