State Rep. Deborah Graham (D-Oak Park) on Feb. 8 passed a measure out of the Illinois General Assembly House Human Services Committee that requires all handgun dealers in Illinois to be licensed with the Illinois State Police.

House Bill 4693 creates the Handgun Dealer Licensing Act, and requires a person or business that sells or transfers concealable firearms to be licensed by the Department of State Police. Licenses cost $300, and licensees must pay an additional $300 every three years. They must also comply with other regulations, such as displaying the license at their business and only selling at the address noted on their license.

Those who sell handguns without a valid license are subject to a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. To become a licensed dealer through the Illinois State Police, an applicant must provide the state police with his or her fingerprint, and show evidence that he or she:

-Is at least 21 years of age

-Has not been convicted of a felony in any state

-Is not a fugitive

-Has not and does not use controlled substances or cannabis

-Has not been adjudicated disabled or committed to a mental institution

-Is a legal resident of the United States

-Was not dishonorably discharged from a branch of the Armed Services

-Has not renounced his or her American citizenship, and;

-Does not have a “state of mind manifested by violent, suicidal, threatening, or assaultive behavior

Proponents of this bill include the City of Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney, Illinois Coalition on Handgun Violence, Office of The Governor, and the Chicago Police Department. For more information, call Rep. Graham at 708/445-9520.