Local gun salesman shares thoughts on proposed gun legislation

ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- A gun legislation bill vetoed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was the first of several bills proposed in response to the Florida school shooting.

Ronald Dippel, who owns Front Sight Defense in Rockton, has mixed feelings about the legislation.

"This is an asset that belongs to your company; it's valuable. Why would you not take measures to protect it?" said Dippel.

The legislation would have required all gun dealers in Illinois to get licenses from the state, charging up to $1000 for a five-year license.

The money was to go toward training to help employees spot people who may buy guns to sell to someone else.

"I'm not against that training, but it should not be an unfunded mandate. If the state wants us to have that training, they should provide it. We can go take that training," said Dippel.

Dippel says this fee would shut down the selling side of his business, but he thinks other aspects of the legislation are necessary, like security requirements for storefronts and homes where guns are stored for sale.

"Jewelry shops, at the end of the night, they take all their jewelry out and put it in a big vault because they know it's expensive and someone could pawn it. Guns are no different," said Dippel.

Dippel feels the legislation misses the main problem.

"We spend so much time on trying to regulate an inatimate object instead of trying to regulate behavior, which is really what laws are supposed to do, regulate behavior," said Dippel.

Other measures proposed in response to the shooting include a ban on bump stocks and other modifications that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly. The Illinois Senate has yet to vote on those bills.