Illinois gun owners await firearm registry rules from state police

(The Center Square) – Gun owners are anxiously awaiting rules to be released by Illinois State Police for the registry that is required as part of Illinois’ gun and magazine ban set to open Oct. 1.

In less than a month, ISP is expected to open the portal for gun owners to register certain semi-automatic firearms the state has labeled “assault weapons.”

“There is no registration fee,” ISP said on the agency’s website.

As part of the state’s gun and magazine ban called the Protect Illinois Communities Act that was enacted Jan. 10, those in possession of certain semi-automatic firearms from before then are required to register a sworn affidavit with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024, or criminal penalties apply.

“Failing to complete and submit the required endorsement affidavit is a violation of Illinois law – specifically, the FOID Act (Class A misdemeanor) and the Criminal Code of 2012 (1st offense – Class A misdemeanor; second or subsequent offense – Class 3 Felony),” ISP said on the agency’s website. “Persons who violate the endorsement affidavit requirements may be arrested and charged.”

Gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde said rules to govern the registry are expected soon and many of Illinois’ 2.4 million Firearm Owners ID card holders are “getting very nervous about how the state could compile this information.” Another question is will registration include certain gun parts and not just firearms.

“If you’ve got hundreds if not thousands of parts like some people do, now what? I mean, every spring, you’re going to have to inventory 10 hammers, 25 dust covers, a thousand detent springs, who knows what,” Vandermyde said. “And how do you differentiate between a roll pin for an AR-15 bought at a gun shop and a roll pin bought from Home Depot that will do the same thing.”

The rules from ISP are to be filed with the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

“ISP is working with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and the Secretary of State to file emergency and First Notice for a proposed rule,” a spokesperson for ISP told The Center Square. “ISP intends to meet the October 1 deadline.”

“JCAR will have a lot to say about this and once we see that rule it will certainly tell us how far afield they went,” Vandermyde said.

While lawsuits against the ban continue with a ruling pending before the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Vandermyde said JCAR can play a role in providing a check on what some see as an unconstitutional law.

“It’s going to need gun owners to start calling their legislators, especially those on the JCAR committee, and lighting them up with phone calls and emails or whatever to express their displeasure that the state police are once again going to color outside the lines,” Vandermyde said.

JCAR’s monthly meeting is scheduled for Sept. 12. ISP’s rules for the registry are not yet on the agenda.

Vandermyde predicts compliance with the registry could leave the state “underwhelmed.”

“From what I’m hearing out at the ranges and stuff, there are a lot of people who just aren’t going to register anything,” he said. “They’re not going to comply with this.”

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