Just 0.08% of Illinois gun owners register banned firearms in Week 3 of registry

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(The Center Square) – Fewer than a tenth of a percent of the state’s Firearm Owners ID card holders have registered with Illinois State Police their semi-automatic firearms that are now banned by state law.

Of more than 2.4 million FOID card holders, the total for Week 3 of the registry shows 2,046 individuals have disclosed more 3,880 firearms, more than 2,100 accessories. There’s also been almost 40 ammunition disclosures. That’s 0.08% of FOID card holders, up from 0.07% the prior week and up from 0.04% for the first week

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, isn’t surprised by the low turnout.

“The folks that own guns in the state of Illinois know that this initiative is unconstitutional and I’ve been clear all along that noncompliance with something that is non-constitutional is an appropriate stance to take,” Wilhour told The Center Square.

State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, who supports the gun ban and registry, reacted to the low compliance rate three weeks in.

“With any policy that we pass in Illinois, education and public awareness is a critical component of that,” Hirschauer told The Center Square. “I’m really impressed with the way that the Illinois State Police has been working with the public and also taking some time to make sure that the information they’re putting out there is correct and clear.”

Illinois State Police have not yet mailed out to FOID card holders official announcements of the requirement. A spokesperson for ISP couldn’t immediately say if a letter would be sent to FOID card holders when reached Wednesday by The Center Square.

If the gun ban is not struck down by pending litigation in federal courts, those found not complying with the registry could face criminal penalties with the deadline to register Jan. 1, 2024.

Wilhour said ISP has been put in a tough spot with a law he said was rushed, poorly crafted and unconstitutional.

“There’s all kinds of federal precedent that points that direction but in the meantime, you’re putting everyone in a lurch here basically because we just want to play politics with this issue,” Wilhour said.

Illinois State Police will hold the first of three public hearings at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, inside Room D1 of the Stratton Building at the capitol complex in Springfield.

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