Illinois gun registration efforts off to a slow start

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The state of Illinois has never been gun-friendly, but it also wasn’t as bad as a lot of other states. After all, there were weapons you couldn’t own elsewhere you could still lawfully purchase in the Land of Lincoln and while there was the FOID requirement, there wasn’t a gun registration.

But all that changed.

Now, a lot of so-called assault weapons have been banned along with handgun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds or rifle magazines that hold more than 10.

And people who already have them are required to register them with the state. That started a bit over a week ago, and yeah…that’s going along swimmingly for Illinois.

With Illinois’ gun and magazine ban still facing legal hurdles in federal court, a registry created in relation to the ban has been open for a week. A fraction of a percent of gun owners have complied so far.

As part of the Protect Illinois Communities Act that was enacted earlier this year, the registration portal for firearms owners in Illinois that own certain semi-automatic firearms, accessories and ammunition opened Oct. 1. While the law bans more than 170 semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns, it also bans handgun magazines over 15 rounds and rifle magazines over 10 rounds. Magazines do not have to be registered.

Illinois State Police published the first round of statistics Tuesday, and of more than 2.4 million Firearm Owner ID card holders, 1,050 individuals have registered a total of 3,202 firearms, .50 caliber ammunition and accessories.

“You’re at 0.0004%. That’s a rounding error,” gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde told The Center Square.

Now, it’s entirely possible that more and more people will register their firearms as directed by state law as the deadline gets closer.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that being a massive number, though, but at least some are holding off.

After all, a challenge is currently worming its way through the judicial system and may well scuttle the whole thing. As such, a lot of people are likely going to wait to see what happens. If gun registration stands, they’ll comply, but not until then.

Yet many others simply won’t comply.

See, gun owners are law-abiding citizens…right up until the government crosses a line. At that point, many are willing to risk prison, and in light of recent international events, I can’t say I blame them.

We never know what kind of horrors will descend upon us. Sure, we’re not likely to have Hamas invade, but we have threats here at home and it’s likely just a matter of time before they feel froggy enough to jump. In Illinois, a lot of people likely figure it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six.

“But they’re not taking anyone’s guns away,” someone will likely cry out. “They just want to register them so they know who has them.”

Yes, they do, and gun confiscation cannot happen without gun registration.

Today it’s gun registration. Tomorrow, it’ll be confiscation.

Take Connecticut, for example. They had this almost exact same kind of gun registration of grandfathered firearms and many complied. Then, years later, the governor wanted to take these away.

And gun owners likely know this.

So, they’re just not going to register them. Is it illegal? Yep, but it’s unlikely they care at this point because the state has gone too far for them.

We’ve seen this before, too. Remember the NY SAFE Act? Yeah, a ton of New Yorkers still haven’t registered their AR-15s and other banned rifles and there’s no reason to believe Illinois gun owners are significantly more compliant.

I can’t condone breaking the law, but I sure as hell can laugh about it.