(The Center Square) – Despite legal challenges pending over Illinois’ gun and magazine ban, Illinois State Police have opened the window for those who own banned firearms from before Jan. 10 to register them.
ISP opened the registration portal for semi-automatic firearms, attachments and .50 caliber ammunition Sunday. Jan. 1 is the deadline to register. Being found out of compliance could lead to criminal charges. The law is still being challenged in federal court.
An online tutorial explains how to use the Firearm Owner ID online system to enter the make and model of firearms and attachments and even number and brand of .50 caliber ammunition. Banned magazines do not need to be registered.
“After you’ve entered the information, read the affirmation statement. If you agree with the affirmation statement, check the box and then click save,” the video explains. “If you do not check the box, you will not be able to proceed.”
Those not wanting to file a form online, or who need help, can visit one of several ISP kiosks around the state.
“Do not bring your weapon, ammunition, or accessories if you visit a Kiosk,” ISP said in a statement.
A big question gun rights groups have raised is around the definition of attachments or accessories. With a challenge to the law on Second Amendment grounds pending in a federal appeals court, Attorney Thomas Maag has a case pending in the Southern District of Illinois Oct. 11.
“The case that I originally filed, the Langley case, also included claims of unconstitutional vagueness as well as Fifth Amendment claims because it requires a person to register firearms and potentially incriminate themselves,” Maag told The Center Square.
On Thursday, state Rep. Amy Elik, R-Alton, filed House Bill 4150 that says if the law is found unconstitutional, Illinois State Police would be required to destroy any such registration records.
“This protects the privacy of law-abiding gun owners, preventing the government from retaining their personal information,” Elik said in a statement.
If the law is upheld, state Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, wants his amendment to Senate Bill 1073 passed that would allow firearms purchased during a temporary injunction this past spring or a temporary restraining order issued by a court in Illinois to be registrable.
“It’s not something we’ve given up on because the closer we get to Jan. 1, the more obvious the problem will become to more people,” Plummer told The Center Square.
Illinois State Police said such firearms purchased during a six day window when an injunction was in place this past spring cannot be registered as owned before Jan. 10 this year and would be illegal Jan. 1, 2024.
Outside of the judiciary, the emergency rules ISP created for the registry are in front of the Joint Committee on Administrative rules. Their next meeting is Oct. 17.