Good morning, folks. We’ve been so focused on the federal side of things relating to pistol-support braces that we completely ignored Illinois State law on these critters. This wasn’t an issue while the Bureau of Parties (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) operated under the policy that support-braced firearms are perfectly legal to own. As of June 1, 2023, that all officially changed. With this post, we’ll bring you up to speed on how to remain legal under state law. Our previous posts detail how to remain legal under federal law/BATF rules.
As of now, the BATF views support-braced pistols as “short-barreled rifles” or SBRs for short. Yeah, ain’t life grand. Owners of said firearms were given an opportunity to to register then at no charge with the BATF as such prior to June 1st. If you missed this news for the past four months, you should have been a member and you should have paid attention to your copies of GunNews and the GSL website.
Of course, some folks said, “Nope. Not gonna do it!” And that’s fine. They just have to grapple with the consequences of that decision should they come into contact with LEOs that care about such things.
We like to encourage people to remain legal. Because most of us have too much to lose in terms of professional licenses, jobs, families, reputation and everything else to flippantly ignore the Rule of Law.
Which brings us to Illinois law on short barreled rifles.
The legal analyst in me says that now that the BATF considers braced pistols as “SBRs,” Illinois residents who own such items are now felons unless they have a Curios & Relics FFL. These are $30 and valid for three years. They are easier to apply for and receive than a FOID card and if you apply today, you can have one in three weeks.
Again, for those slow on the uptake, submit your application today and you’ll have your C&R license in about three short weeks.
No doubt there are tens of thousands of Illinois residents who own braced guns who are unaware of this change in federal law and its implications for Illinois owners. If you have people in your circle of friends who have these, please let them know. Without a C&R license, they run afoul of this section of Illinois Code (specifically Section 24-1 (a) (7)(ii) to the tune of a Class 3 felony.
From Section 24-1(b):
a person convicted of a violation of subsection 24-1(a)(6), 24-1(a)(7)(ii), 24-1(a)(7)(iii), or 24-1(a)(16) commits a Class 3 felony.
Does that get your attention yet?
How do you insulate yourself from that? Section 24-2(c)(7):
Get your C&R license! Tell your friends with braced guns to do the same, or they risk losing their gun rights for life if convicted of possessing what is now defined as a “short barreled rifle” by the BATF today.
It seems downright foolish to take your changes when a $30 FFL protects you completely from an arrest or conviction while possessing said firearms.
Illinois Concealed Carry License allows holders to carry handguns. These “braced pistols” are no longer “pistols” per the BATF and as such can no longer be carried concealed while loaded in public by those with a CCW license.