04192018CM0231 rSPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement today on his decision not to call a vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“Today, I made the difficult decision not to ask the Senate to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the gun dealer licensing bill.

“While I am confident that I had the votes in the Senate to override the veto, I could not assure my colleagues that the House would vote against the governor, particularly given his vociferous and unreasonable opposition to this measure.

“In the past few days, I have had productive conversations with suburban Republican members, in particular Senator Chris Nybo, that make me believe we can create a new path to regulating gun dealers in Illinois.

“I have also recently received overtures and encouragement from unexpected and unconventional allies who can better inform our decision making as we move forward towards a successful resolution.

“While making this decision, I frequently reminded myself that ‘victory’ is not overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto or winning any other political battle in the Capitol. Victory means protecting the people we represent from the senseless violence fueled by the ready availability of guns in our communities.

“Today, I am reintroducing the substance of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act as an amendment to an existing bill, Senate Bill 337, and I will begin work immediately on gathering support for the measure.

“Licensing gun dealers at the state level is a sensible step to reduce gun violence, and I will not give up. I am sure we will enact this measure – under this administration or the next.”

Category: News

3598148339 7a7c14322d b rSPRINGFIELD – A poll released today shows that a majority of Illinoisans support Senator Don Harmon’s (D-Oak Park) plan to license gun dealers at the state level.

The poll, conducted by the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, found broad, bipartisan support for the Gun Dealer Licensing Act among suburban and downstate residents in areas viewed by some as less supportive of gun legislation.

Overall, 71 percent of respondents favor state licensing of gun dealers with only 23 percent in opposition. Support for the proposal was strong among downstate respondents (67 percent), West Suburban respondents (74 percent), Republicans (65 percent) and even among gun owners (63 percent).

“This poll demonstrates what everyone except Governor Rauner seems to understand,” said Harmon. “People want commonsense measures that protect their right to gun ownership but improve public safety.”

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act would allow Illinois to license gun dealers and encourage better business practices while holding corrupt dealers accountable. Studies show that a small number of gun dealers are disproportionately responsible for selling guns used in crimes.

The measure passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support, but Gov. Rauner vetoed it last month.  Harmon plans to move to override his veto in the coming weeks.

Category: News

03122018CM0532 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) passed a measure out of committee today that would create safe zones from immigration enforcement in Illinois.

The legislation prohibits state and local law enforcement from carrying out federal immigration efforts at locations including state-funded schools, state-funded medical treatment and health care facilities, public libraries, facilities operated by the Secretary of State, and state courts.

These safe zones were in the original version of the Trust Act that passed the Senate but were amended in the House and not in the final version signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

“Immigrants in Illinois are hardworking people who contribute to our communities,” Harmon said. “They have built their homes here. They are raising their families here. They should be treated like human beings, not taken away like criminals when they drop their children off at school.”

According to a 2014 study by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, roughly 68 percent of undocumented immigrants participate in the labor force in Illinois, a higher rate than that of the general public (66 percent).

Harmon’s measure also prohibit applications for state benefits from asking for information related to citizenship or immigration status unless otherwise required by law.

Senate Bill 35 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 8-4 today and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News

03132018CM0160 rCHICAGO –State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act:

“The governor must be much more concerned about his immediate political prospects than we thought, because he decided to be a lap dog for the NRA today rather than listen to the people he represents.

“Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans support licensing gun dealers. Governor Rauner has decided to be the governor of the nine percent who don’t.

“Tomorrow, students across the country will stand up and beg elected officials to do their job and protect schools from gun violence. By issuing this veto on the eve of those demonstrations, the governor is telling them that he has no intention to live up to that responsibility."

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act passed the Senate last April and passed the House in February with bipartisan support.

Category: News


IMG 0439 rCHICAGO –State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) today joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, fellow legislators, gun violence prevention advocates and victims of gun violence in calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

The measure would allow Illinois to license gun dealers, holding corrupt dealers accountable and cracking down on straw purchases. According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago from 2009-2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers.

At a press conference this morning, Harmon said the measure is not only good policy, but also has broad public support.

“If the public policy doesn’t convince the governor, I hope that perhaps the politics will,” Harmon said. “Eighty-five percent of Illinoisans want this bill signed. He should sign it today. We’ll even give him the pen.”

Senate Bill 1657 passed the Senate last April and the House last month with bipartisan support. Rauner has yet to indicate whether he intends to sign it into law.

State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who cosponsored the measure, joined Harmon at today’s press conference and shared the impact gun violence has had on his life.

“I joined this journey because I experienced gun violence directly outside my home,” Raoul said. “This is personal. I struggle with why this is being politicized into a difficult decision. This is a simple decision about accountability.”

CPD Superintendent Johnson called the measure “commonsense legislation” and said he was proud to lend his voice to the group calling on the governor to sign it into law.

“As a Chicago police officer, I’ve seen guns tear apart families and cut lives far too short for 30 years. Last month, I had the difficult task of delivering the tragic news to Commander Paul Bauer’s family after he was murdered by a repeat offender.” Johnson said. “This bill won’t bring back our loved ones or Commander Bauer, but it’s the least we can do to show their families that we remember them and are fighting for their memories and legacies.”

Emanuel suggested that Rauner, with his reluctance to make a commitment on the legislation, is putting politics ahead of the people of Illinois.

“The governor may be thinking of the primary election, but we are thinking of the primary responsibility he has to keep us safe,” Emanuel said. “Here in Illinois, we license car shops. We license liquor shops. We license barber shops. We now have a chance, if the governor would sign the bill, to license gun shops. All eyes are on the governor.”

Senate Bill 1657 was delivered to the governor’s desk on March 1. If he does not sign or veto it in 60 days, it automatically becomes law.

Category: News

Contact Me

Email Senator Harmon

Springfield Office:
329 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(p) 217.782.8176
(f) 217.558.6013

Oak Park Office:
6941-B W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(p) 708.848.2002
(f) 708.848.2022

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