I’ll admit, like many folks, I’m feeling anxiety as the end of the year approaches.
“What do I do with my ‘naughty guns’?” was first and foremost on my mind as it is with hundreds of thousands of my fellow gun owners in our state.
For the record, I will not register any guns or accessories. Period. At the same time, I’ve divested myself of those magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles and other “naughty guns” temporarily, moving them to a safe space a few miles outside of JB Pritzker’s reach.
Meanwhile, thanks to the ISP clarifying that a handguard is not a barrel shroud, I’ve dusted off the M1 Carbine, cleaned the gun and the glass on the sight and installed new batteries in the optic. So now I’m rockin’ a 75-year-old firearm with some modern Hornady Critical Defense hollow-points as my home defense carbine.
Word has it that gun dealers in Illinois are buying precious metals at bargain prices. How so you ask? A few people are eager to sell PICA “banned” guns for pennies on the dollar. Why? Because the owners don’t want to register and at the same time they don’t want to risk arrest for failure to register. They’re not used to living on the wrong side of the law. They’re scared.
One dealer called them cowards. He then clarified a little. “They’re typically older guys, retired and scared. They’re rule-followers to the bitter end.”
Even though possession of a single item is only a trivial misdemeanor, I understand a reluctance to “break the law.” Timid submissiveness should come at a price though. They’re lucky it will only cost them a stack of C-notes at the present time.
Sam Adams once famously wrote: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
If you don’t have the skill sets and the mindset to use effective tools like firearms to defend yourself and your family from threats, both foreign and domestic, then you’re not dangerous. You’re harmless.
Back in Samuel Adams’ time, Sam Whittemore lived as a dangerous old man. He too was a rule-follower – until he wasn’t. At 80 years old, when he learned that the British Redcoats were burning homes and shooting residents as their soldiers marched to confiscate guns, ol’ Samuel took his then-banned guns and proceeded to put the hurt on some Redcoats. Because of his actions that day, he lived another 18 years.
Cops aren’t going to show up at your house, unless…
There aren’t enough cops to audit sales records or do random compliance checks at peoples’ homes. The only way you will come onto the radar of law enforcement is if you take your unregistered, now-prohibited firearms off your property or do otherwise stupid things with them. Or run your mouth to the wrong people that you’re not registered jack poop and the governor can go pee up a rope and self-procreate.
Instead of playing tough guy card, play the smart guy card instead. Tell everyone who will listen that you’ve taken your “naughty” stuff outside of Illinois. Feel free to rant about how it’s illegal, unconstitutional and just plain wrong but you’re not gonna risk a felony by keeping them around unregistered. I’ll even give you permission to use a profane word or two while carping about it.
If someone who doesn’t like guns (or really doesn’t like you) knows you had these guns but now learns you gave them up, that person has no reason to call CrimeStoppers or their local ISP Troop Headquarters to report you.
In our hyper-politically polarized world, most of us have someone who doesn’t like us or our politics. Maybe it’s someone you fired at work or an ex-spouse (or bad date). Cover your bets and tell everyone that you’ve gotten your stuff out of state even if you’re doing nothing of the sort.
Lastly, speaking of anxiety… if the police do show up at your door and you didn’t call them… don’t answer questions.
If you didn’t call the police, don’t answer their questions.
Make sure your spouse and any teenage or adult kids living at home are on the same page. The last thing you want when you’re at work or running errands is your well-meaning significant other or teenage or adult child welcoming a highly-trained, smooth-talking ISP investigator into the home and helpfully opening your safe or closet to show them that you have nothing to hide.
Remember, highly trained police might employ their verbal judo and tell you they’ll be as lenient as possible if you cooperate. Pro-tip: a lenient felony is still a life-changing felony. Don’t cooperate, but instead assert your rights including the right to remain silent and to refuse consent to any searches absent a warrant.