Altamont weapons dealer giving up gun sales
After 18 years in business, Scott Cutler says the rewards of selling firearms no longer meet the costs.
“I’m just tired of my paycheck depending on the whims of the politicians in Springfield,” Cutler told the East Central Reporter. “I’m tired of paying the cost for a few bad seeds. I just feel the cost associated with the new Dealers License Act is too much to pay, and I can’t justify spending all the money.”
So Cutler recently announced his Lock, Stock & Barrel Gun Dealer Shop in Altamont will no longer be selling firearms.
Cutler said the last straw for him came with the imposition of a new, $1,500 state gun dealers’ license that also requires gun shop owners to install surveillance cameras in their shops and establish such in-house safeguards as electronic inventory and anti-theft systems.
The new law also mandates that owners regularly train employees in such areas as spotting straw gun purchases, which are buys made by a legal purchaser for the express purpose of transferring the weapons to someone else not eligible to buy them.
Cutler said he doesn’t believe he will be the only small business owner forced into making life-changing decisions by the new law and added regulations.
“Quite a few other shops have already closed or made adjustments,” he said. “Small home base and storefront dealers are being impacted.”
Cutler said Altamont will remain open and he will continue selling his high-end automatic switchblade knives.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), whose 107th District neighbors Cutler’s shop, said in a Feb. 14 East Central Reporter interview that he can understand all the frustration felt by gun shop owners over all the new anti-gun legislation.
“The far left part of the Democratic Party now has real control, and we have to battle a lot of different stuff,” he said. “It’s like we live in two different worlds with what’s going on down here and in Chicago. The real effect all these regulations are having on small-business owners makes it not worth it for them.”
In the end, Wilhour said local legislators have to do a better job of standing up for the southern Illinois way of life.
“We have to get Chicago lawmakers to see that pushing down on us here in southern Illinois is not going to fix the crime problem in the city,” he said.