(The Center Square) – Whether the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will bring a motion to suspend gun ban registry emergency rules from Illinois State Police before the Jan. 1 deadline to register is still up in the air.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over a certain capacity on Jan. 10. Lawsuits against the law were filed with several still pending. Part of the law includes a registry requirement for grandfathered firearms. That registry opened Oct. 1 with emergency rules filed by Illinois State Police.
In October, JCAR approved a recommendation that ISP hold three public hearings to take questions about the registration rules. The first hearing was in Springfield Thursday. The second was in Chicago Friday. The third and final public hearing was in Caseyville on Monday.
ISP was available Tuesday during JCAR’s monthly hearing in Springfield.
“It was very difficult to hear because there wasn’t a microphone setup,” state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said of Monday’s public hearing.
ISP attorney Suzanne Bond said they made an error assuming the Caseyville Village Hall building would have had one set up.
“I believe it was a miscommunication. There was a misunderstanding that we thought that there would be a speaker and PA. If we had realized that there was not, we would have brought one with us,” Bond said during Tuesday’s JCAR hearing. “I suppose hindsight is 20/20, we should have been prepared with our own.”
Bond said per public feedback they hope to provide a timeline of what’s been updated on their website’s FAQ.
“We are working to do that and hope to have that up maybe later this week, definitely before the end of November,” Bond said.
The agency also hopes to have answers to questions and proposed changes to the emergency rules ahead of next month’s JCAR hearing.
“We would like to give the public as much notice on changes as possible and so I believe if we don’t make your December meeting they won’t have an opportunity to see those changes so we’re working with the JCAR staff to ensure that we are able to get on that agenda,” Bond said.
If the law is not struck down by the courts, or if rules are not suspended by JCAR, those found out of compliance after Jan. 1 could face criminal penalties.
After Tuesday’s JCAR hearing, state Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, said suspending the rules in their December meeting is an option.
“Well, we’ll see. I called for a vote to issue a formal objection which resulted in a tie during our October meeting,” Spain said.
State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, wouldn’t speculate if JCAR would suspend the rules despite mounting questions and pending lawsuits, including possible review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I think as I said we have to assume that the law is constitutional until a court tells us that it is not,” Cunningham told The Center Square.
While the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the Southern District of Illinois’ stayed preliminary injunction against the law on Friday, there are two pending challenges back in the Southern District, including a motion for summary judgment against the law on vagueness grounds.
After week five of the registry being open, of more than 2.4 million Firearm Owners ID card holders, just 0.12%, or about 2,900 individuals, have disclosed a banned item.