Local gun store worried after recent Illinois gun dealer licensing bill

The signing of the gun dealer licensing bill now has Marshall gun store owner William Behnke concerned. Specifically when it comes to keeping the doors open.

Posted: Mar 2, 2019 5:39 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2019 8:39 PM

MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI)- The Lost Creek Trading Post in Marshall Illinois has been serving the community for fifteen years. They have everyone from experienced hunters to young learns to enter the doors to do business. 

"Well I just decided I wanted to get a 22 to do some plunking with and I saw their add on TV so I headed over," said Carrol Coleman who went to the store for the first time Saturday.

The signing of the gun dealer licensing bill now has owner William Behnke concerned. Specifically when it comes to keeping the doors open.

"The biggest part of my stores is here. This is where we spend most of our time. If it gets too cumbersome, I will probably have to relocate and continue in Indiana," said Behnke.

The bill signed by the Illinois Governor in January aims to heighten security for all gun stores, but its comes with a hefty cost to pay for everything.

The bill requires a $500 a year license, but a normal federal license cost only $30 a year. Behnke says there are still undisclosed details that could cost gun stores even more.

It can range from increased security requirements, upgrading computer systems and making staff do mandatory state training.

"It’s spelled out in the ordinance that they passed but however there's nothing that's been sent to the dealers yet telling us what we have to do to comply and it makes it very difficult," said Behnke.

The Trading Post will be playing it by year to see what has to be done, but locals hope the trading post will continue to serve Marshall for years to come.

"I just hope they can keep rolling and stay in business. I mean it takes all businesses big and small. But small stores are more homie and comfortable to shop in as far as I’m concerned."

Behnke says the Illinois State Police are in charge of setting up the requirements of this new law. They will release those mandates this summer.

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