Democrats say they will try to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to require licenses for gun stores.
The vetoed legislation would have required gun stores to be licensed by the state, calling it "unnecessary, burdensome regulation."
Rauner said Tuesday the measure would hurt small business owners and won't make communities safer.
His veto comes one week before the Republican faces a challenge from conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives in the GOP primary. Last week, Ives' campaign criticized Rauner for not speaking publicly against the bill, calling it "the prelude to yet another betrayal" of Republicans.
Supporters of the measure accused Rauner of putting politics over doing the right thing.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel accuses Rauner of vetoing the gun shop licensing bill to try to get in the good graces of Republican voters. Next week, Rauner faces a primary challenge from conservative State Rep. Jeanne Ives.
"I’m sorry. I’ve been in public life for 30 years," he said. "I know politics when I see it. This is about his primary election and not his primary responsibility as governor. Make no ifs, ands, or buts about it."
Mark D. Jones is a project director for the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. He's also a former ATF agent.
“I think it’s a misguided decision,” Jones said. “I think the governor is being swayed by business interests, the firearms industry, National Rifle Association lobbyists.”
The Legislature passed the measure last month in response to a deadly shooting at a Florida high school and the shooting death of a Chicago police commander.
- The Associated Press, WNIJ's Susan Stephens, and Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold contributed to this report.