(The Center Square) – No matter how you slice it, the compliance rate for Illinois’ gun ban registry is in the single digits, according to a gun dealer group.
A year ago this week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on certain semi-automatic firearms, magazines and attachments. The measure included a registration requirement for the now banned guns purchased before the law went into effect. Last month, Pritzker explained the purpose for the registry.
“You want to make sure that you know where those very, very deadly weapons are, who owns them, when and if a crime is committed with one of them,” Pritzker said.
But the most recent numbers of those that registered before the Jan. 1 deadline is 1.22% of the total number of Firearm Owners ID card holders.
Dan Eldridge of Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois said other estimates of those who actually own the now-banned guns may bring the compliance rate to somewhere between 4% and 8%.
“These are absolute best case numbers for the state, that under 10% compliance, we think it’s close to [4%]. It’s just a mass rejection of this act,” Eldridge said. “So, no matter how you slice it, the compliance is very low.”
Being found with a banned firearm that is not registered could lead to criminal charges.
Illinois State Police said they will keep the registry open, as the law does not set forth penalties for late submissions.
“The FOID portal will remain open for people to submit endorsement affidavits,” the agency said. “ISP is focused on compliance and safety. While the Act set deadlines for submitting endorsement affidavits, it does not set forth penalties for late submissions.”
ISP has also said firearms bought during a six-day injunction last year are illegal. Eldridge said that adds to the concerns around the law.
“So they said they can’t change the law and then they changed the law with respect to leaving the registration window open,” Eldridge said. “Which is it? It’s just completely incoherent how they’re behaving.”
On the legal front, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied state Rep. Dan Caulkins’ petition in his challenge to the law. Separate federal lawsuits continue. A scheduling conference in the Southern District of Illinois federal court for one case is set for Friday.