Got this email and wanted to share it along with my reply (slightly edited here).
Hello, my name is Kevin I just have a few questions if you don’t mind, perhaps you don’t have the answers.
Does the state of Illinois already have a record of what guns a person possesses.
If they do, will that mean they will come to your residence inquiring if you haven’t complied or if your using them and caught.
Thanks for any insight.
Kevin (last name withheld for obvious reasons)
Does the state have a record or purchases? Yes and no. Yes, they have a record that you purchased gun “X” on such and such date. They have the instant background check approval number and can then contact the dealer to have the dealer fax them a copy of the 4473 which would give them make, model and serial number.
Do that for every purchase since about 1998 when they launched FTIP, and they can create a reasonable facsimile of your collection.
From that, if it’s been purchased in the past ten years, they expect you’ll still have it. It’s up to them to prove you don’t still have itandthat you transferred ownership to someone and failed to keep records.
Yeah, if it turns up at a crime scene that’s relatively easy unless it was stolen and you didn’t realize it. For Joe Sixpack who bought an AR-15 in 2020 at the height of the George Floyd riots, and still has it in his safe but failed to register, that’s a LOT harder for them. You don’t have to show the gun to them to prove your innocence. Unless you give them consent to search, they have to have probable cause to get a warrant. And unless someone’s got an axe to grind with you, that’s not likely to happen unless you’re doing really stupid stuff with it. For instance: dry firing it in your living room with the curtains open as the school bus is dropping off kids.
If you purchased it over ten years ago, you can say you sold it and they can’t prove otherwise, good or bad, because maybe you sold it and then destroyed the record of the new owner after ten years. “Sorry guys. I really do wish I could help.”
If you’re using a banned gun in public (range or hunting, or just in your car) after Jan 1 and it’s not registered, it may be seized and you may be arrested. You likely won’t get your gun back if you’re charged. Possession of 2+ banned guns means not only will you not get those two specimens back, but they’ll seize all of your guns as you’ll face felony charges.
Moral of the story, keep your head down, mouth closed, and your banned guns in your home and you’ll face minimal risk of arrest or prosecution. Especially if you don’t talk with police or answer their questions beyond, “I’d like to speak with my attorney before answering questions. Good day and get lost.”