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Illinois gun owners struggle with state’s looming banned gun registry

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(The Center Square) – After federal lawsuits failed to secure temporary injunctions against the state’s gun ban registry deadline of Jan. 1, gun owners in Illinois are facing a deadline where failure to comply could lead to criminal charges overnight.

The rules governing the gun ban requirements are on an emergency file. Modified rules addressing a myriad of concerns from stakeholders won’t be addressed until after the Jan. 1 deadline.

As of late Thursday, the Southern District of Illinois judge had yet to rule on whether to delay the Jan. 1 deadline. Judge Stephen McGlynn had said he was inclined to not issue a delay and to take the case up on the merits in the new year, after the Jan. 1 deadline kicks in.

The latest Illinois State Police statistics show of more than 2.4 million Firearm Owners ID card holders in the state, 8,143 individuals have disclosed to ISP they own banned items, or around 0.35% of those who have FOID cards.

State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, who helped craft the gun and magazine ban that was enacted earlier this year, expects people to comply with the registry requirement, or after Jan. 1., they’ll be criminals.

“They want to be law-abiding citizens and they want to be consistent with state law and they will register their existing legacy weapons otherwise they’re risking their FOID card,” Morgan said last month. “I think the vast, vast majority of people are just committed to being law-abiding citizens the way they are now.”

Magazines over certain capacities do not need to be registered under the law. But, more than 170 different semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns, certain attachments and .50 caliber ammunition must be registered by law.

With the deadline approaching, Illinois State Rifle Association’s Ed Sullivan said people have a choice to make.

“To comply with this law, you either register your firearm or you move it out of state or you become a peace officer, I guess,” Sullivan said last month.

Law enforcement, retired law enforcement, and others in the security sector are exempt from the registry, with certain conditions under the emergency rules. The rules also require the gun registry affidavits to be provided to Illinois State Police electronically.

Gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde said everyone is going to have to make up their decision on how they comply with the law.

“I happen to be one of those guys that once the government gets their hands on data, it never goes away, that the internet is forever,” Vandermyde told The Center Square.

While state’s attorneys and sheriffs across the state have said they will not make enforcement of the gun ban registry a top priority, Michael Brown, a firearms instructor in Chicago, expects Cook County police to enforce the law.

“And so in good conscience I can’t suggest that people in Cook County, in Chicago don’t register because you stand the chance of losing your freedom and your [concealed carry] license,” Brown said.

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