Federal Agent in favor of gun dealer regulations

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- We're pretty familiar with gun violence in Rockford. One ex-ATF Federal Agent believes he has found a way to help lower those numbers.

Mark Jones says there are only 24 gun dealer inspectors for the 5,200 dealers in Illinois. Jones believes this is the problem in many states across the country.

Jones believes that federal resources for controlling gun sales are not strict enough. Today, Jones spoke with Rockford Mayor, Tom McNamara and Rockford Alderman in support of Senate Bill 1657. That bill's goal is to license and regulate gun dealers on the state level instead of a federal level.

Mcnamara says he supports the idea of a safer city but isn't sure how he feels about this bill.

"No matter where you fall on the issue, I think you understand that the city of Rockford has been dealing with significant violent crime, and a lot of that is with these thugs on the street who are waving around guns. So I don't know if this bill will directly address our needs here or not. That's why I'd have to do more work," says Rockford Mayor, Tom McNamara.

"It's very clear that the federal government is gonna be unable to do anything in the face of this amazing regulatory capture that the gun industry has been able to achieve. I think it falls, then, on the states to go forward and try to regulate the gun industry," says ex-ATF agent, Mark Jones.

"It goes back to... firearms are the only object that's blamed whenever there's a tragedy. When there's a car accident, it's not the car's fault. Firearms are the only objects that they blame, rather than blaming a person," says KAP Guns owner, Kenny Polhamus.

Some alderman at the meeting today said they support gun regulation, but don't think this bill is the best way to achieve it. Senate Bill 1657 is scheduled for a vote on November 10th.

Tonight, at 7, Mark Jones will meet with the public at Emmanuel Episcopal Church to explain his hopes for the bill and the future of gun dealer regulations.