Politics will dictate Rauner’s decision on gun bills

Gov. Bruce Rauner meets with the Sun-Times Editorial Board on Feb. 6. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

He’s in a political pickle.

Since his first campaign four years ago, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has assiduously avoided taking a stand on what he calls, “social issues.”


The Republican business mogul-turned politician navigated those treacherous waters and staked out a path to the governor’s office in blue Illinois.

During his 2014 campaign, abortion, LGBT rights, and immigration were non-starters.

Not to mention, gun control. Rauner, an avid hunter, has been virtually silent on the urgent need to curb gun violence.

But America’s latest horror, the shooting murders of 17 people at a Florida high school, and the heinous shooting death of Chicago Police Comdr. Paul Bauer, have tipped Illinois’ legislative scales.

Last week the Illinois General Assembly approved a bill that would require gun dealers apply for state licensing. Gun store employees would undergo background checks and training aimed at curbing gun thefts and illegal straw purchases.

The bill passed the House, 64-52, mostly by Democrats, but with a smattering of Republicans. Rauner has 60 days to review and decide whether to sign it into law.

It’s a tepid start, but more is in the pipeline. The House also approved another bill to raise the minimum age to buy an assault rifle, and a ban of bump stocks, which equip a gun to…

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