The so-called “Protect IL Communities Act” gun and magazine ban has a registration window for current owners of banned firearms and accessories. While there are multiple legal challenges to the law, it’s unlikely we’ll get relief in the courts before the registration window closes on Dec. 31st.
So what do you do with them? Here are some options and our thoughts on them.
First, you can surrender them to the police. That’s just dumb. But there’s people out there who are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Destroy them. Eh, no thanks.
Sell them on consignment at a dealer to out-of-state buyers. Assuming you find a dealer willing to do this, expect to get half of what it’s worth on a good day and you can’t change your mind and get it back once you’ve put it on consignment with a dealer.
Registering your guns. If other states with similar measures in place are any indication, expect a high single-digits compliance rate. The downside to registering is the very real possibility that next year, Gov. Pritzker signs a measure to “close the existing owner loophole” and gives those with registered guns 90 days to surrender them to the police.
Move them out-of-state. That works if you’ve got a place to put them with a (very good) friend or family member you trust. You might also find a business that will store them for you in a neighboring, gun-friendly locale.
Burial. Then there’s those of us with a shovel and a compass, kind of like American colonists unwilling to bow to King George III’s gun control edicts ahead of the Revolutionary War. We all know that when the time came, those colonists dug up their arms and fought the tyrannical king and those individuals imposing the king’s will upon the people. Aim small, miss small and all that. Frankly, this option particularly incenses people in the IL Attorney General’s office. How dare you not comply with our laws!
Boating accident. I’m a terrible boat driver, even while sober. I’ve had several tragic boating accidents and lost an unknown number of guns and boxes of ammo. Gun haters don’t get this joke, but boating accidents are a “nunya business” reply to nosy questions about what you did with your guns. Be sure to notify the IDNR of your boating accident or it’s about a $190 fine.
Do nothing. Odds are nothing will happen to you, especially if you’re not dry-firing your non-registered gun in front of your living room window as the school bus is dropping off kids outside. And so long as you’re not beating your spouse, your red-headed step-children or getting divorced, you’re probably golden. The only way you’ll likely come to the attention of ISP is if you report stolen guns in a burglary, if you have a fire and firemen or investigators are tripping over your guns. Or if the police show up for a Red Flag or Order of Protection to confiscate your guns. Then again there’s the risk of neighbors or family members (ex-wives? in-laws?) with knowledge of your guns and an axe to grind.
Molon Labe. Others (here’s looking at some serious patriots in Livingston County, for instance) will adopt a more aggressive “Molon Labe, Birthing People Fornicators” attitude on registering stuff.
Molon Labe, of course, is what King Leonidas of the Spartans said to Xerxes at Thermopylae in defiance of Xerxes’ demand for the Spartans to surrender their arms. Loosely translated, it means, “Come and get them.”
There may be some other options come available in the coming weeks, but these are the main ones we see at this time.