Mayor Emanuel confronts Gov. Rauner with letter calling for action on gun control

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CHICAGO — Some political drama played out during an otherwise typical news conference Wednesday afternoon as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel challenged Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign new gun control legislation.

At a press conference announcing AT&T’s plan to add 500 jobs to its North Side Customer Call Center, the mayor’s remarks turned political when he turned to gun control, saying he was leaving a letter for Gov. Bruce Rauner that urges him to approve new gun control legislation.

Signed by Emanuel and all 50 Chicago aldermen, the letter asks the governor to sign a bill requiring gun dealers to get a license from the state, and sets specific rules on background checks and straw purchases that dealers must follow. Currently, gun sellers are licensed by the federal government.

Rauner has not said publicly if he’ll sign or veto the legislation. He’s currently facing a tough primary battle ahead of elections this month.

The letter reads: “with renewed momentum in the critical fight to stop gun violence and gun trafficking in Chicago and Illinois…we write you to ask you to sign the Gun Dealer Licensing Act (SB 1657) into law immediately.”

Rauner initially said he didn’t see any letter from the mayor.

“The mayor did not leave anything on the podium but I look forward to talking to the mayor,” Gov. Rauner said.

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