Cabela’s, ISRA Take On Sufredin

Thanks to Buzzard for the alert.


The Illinois State Rifle Association and Cabela's Inc., a hunting, camping and fishing merchandise retail chain, are teaming up to prevent the passage of two Cook County ordinances that they say would put unfair restrictions on gun sellers.

In a news release issued shortly after Commissioner Larry Suffredin introduced a gun control ordinance last month, the Illinois State Rifle Association said Cabela's superstore in Hoffman Estates would be forced to close if the measure is approved.

"Cabela's Hoffman Estates store employs hundreds of Cook County residents and brings in millions of sales tax dollars for the county," association Executive Director Richard Pearson said in the statement. "If Cabela's cannot sell firearms, then there is no Cabela's. If there is no Cabela's, then those retail dollars flee to DuPage, Kane or Will counties."

Suffredin's proposal would prohibit gun shops from operating within one mile of a school or park, or within 10 miles of another gun shop. It also would make gun shows illegal in Cook County.

Suffredin, who is running for Cook County state's attorney, admits his ordinance would force "the majority" of Cook County gun shops to close their doors — but he says the law is necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

"The reason we need this (ordinance) is because Chicago banned gun shops and gun shops moved to the suburbs, and we were in a position where we knew these guns were flooding our area," Suffredin said. "All we have to do is make this more difficult, we have to try to stop the flow of guns."

In a statement on the company's Web site, Hoffman Estates' Cabela's says passage of the ordinance would put its 300 employees out of work, and would cause Illinois to forfeit $3 million in sales tax revenue that is generated by the shop.

"The cash-strapped Cook County treasury really can't afford such a huge hit just because Larry Suffredin doesn't like people who own guns," said Pearson, who called the measure "an election year stunt."

Suffredin said Cabela's claims about loss of jobs and state revenue are "just not true."

Another gun control ordinance introduced by Commissioner William Beavers calls for the registration of all firearms in Cook County, and prohibits people already in possession of an unregistered gun to register it after passage of the proposed ordinance.

The association and Cabela's have asked their members and customers to contact commissioners to express opposition to both proposals.

Suffredin said he has the support of six commissioners, and he will call for a vote on his measure as soon as he has the nine votes needed for passage.