Local gun owners question effectiveness of new Illinois gun trafficking law

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ILLINOIS-- 425 people murdered and another 23,000 have been hurt by gun violence in Chicago, Illinois with no signs of stopping.

A new law signed into law on Tuesday in Illinois works to reduce violence and keep guns off the street.

"This law targets straw purchasers- those who skirt Illinois firearm laws by buying guns in other states with the intent to resell in the illegal black markets of Illinois," says House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

The law puts harsher penalties on people who illegally traffic guns into Illinois from surrounding states. It's a law that leaders say doesn't only stop the shooter, but the person who armed the shooter.

The first time someone gets caught trafficking a gun into Illinois, the seller faces up to 20 years in prison, and the second time, up to 30 years.

Lawmakers say the new rule won't hurt people already playing by the rules.

"It's not the gun shops who are selling firearms illegally. They're buying them out on the street," says Quad Cities gun owner Kimberly Smithe.

It will have no affect on how Smithe and her firearm customers conduct business in G & G Retailers Inc., a licensed Quad Cities gun shop.

No matter where people buy their guns, Smithe says the best thing you can do is to have it registered.

"It's safer for everyone involved. When a firearm is not registered, and it gets stolen, it hits the streets," says Smithe.

And while Smithe is all for safety, she questions if the new legislation is going to really help clean up the streets.

"Criminals find a way to get around everything. That's why they're called criminals. I don't know how well they're going to be able to enforce it because you have to get caught first," says Smithe.


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