HILLSIDE, Ill. –A measure backed by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside aimed at curbing gun violence and saving lives be creating commonsense licensing standards for gun dealers was signed into law Thursday. 

“This new law is an important step in the right direction to combat the senseless violence that has caused so much pain for families throughout the state,” Welch said. “However, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce violence and heal our communities by keeping dangerous weapons off our streets, ensuring access to job training programs, and fully funding mental health services and after school programs for at-risk youth.”

Welch cosponsored the bipartisan Senate Bill 337, also known as the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act, to require the Illinois State Police to certify firearm dealers as well as better track private gun sales. The new law requires criminal background checks for gun dealer employees, institutes an annual training on how employees should handle background checks, mandates video surveillance at gun shops and provides additional authority for law enforcement to inspect locations. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Pritzker on Thursday. 

“I want to thank Rep. Welch and all the members of the Illinois General Assembly who voted to keep illegal guns out of our communities,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC (GPAC). “Our streets, communities and families will be safer now that SB 337 is the law of the land and we are grateful to all of the legislators who put public safety first.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

(D-Hillside) 7th District
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