While about 15,000 Illinois gun owners have registered, 2.4 million of us have not.  Instead, we have arrived at the point in the gun registration window that we have to make a final decision:  Do we comply with Pritzker’s new gun and magazine ban’s registration requirement in one way or another, or do we ignore it.

The registration window closes at the end of the day this Sunday, December 31st.

Without a doubt there are potential downsides no matter what we opt to do.

Compliance without registration:

 1)  You can destroy the gun.  That seems silly.
2.  You can surrender the gun to the police.  What?  Are you not paying enough in taxes?
3.  You can sell it, to an FFL or other exempted person.
4.  You can rehome the gun outside of Illinois.  Gas is expensive, but a half-day or a day on the road beats paying a retainer for a criminal defense attorney.  Remember, any ISP investigators at your front door wanting proof you rehomed your guns should be offered a breath-mint and told to GTFO from your property.  It’s NOT up to you to prove your innocence (that you no longer have said guns).  It’s up to ISP to prove that you do have care, custody and control of said firearms.


Gray area “compliance”:

5. You can bury them out of the reach of your buddies at Pritzker’s Illinois State Police.  I love visiting old mausoleums, don’t you?  The bolt cutters and the weathered padlocks in my backseat?  Completely unrelated.  Hint:  cut the chain, not the original lock.
6.  You can have a tragic boating accident.  Please report the accident to IDNR or you might get a couple hundred dollar fine.  Gotta follow the law, ya know.


Outright non-compliance aka civil disobedience:

7.  Not gonna register and not gonna take them out of the state.  I like my self-defense tools where I can access them if I need them.  Do yourself a favor though:  take then out of the safe and put them somewhere else, just in case Five-O shows up with a warrant to look around.

RISKS:  If you don’t register, as an average person with a handful armful of these suddenly-banned firearms, you have an almost zero risk of an arrest for failing to register unless you do really dumb things with them.  Keep them in a safe, out-of-sight, and never discussed.  Don’t take them hunting, or to the range.  Don’t practice dryfiring in front of your living room window while the school bus drops off kiddos outside.  Or any other time.  Tell EVERYONE – including friends, family, neighbors and co-workers that your guns were taken out of the state just to be on the safe side.  What’s more, this may also apply to your spouse and/or kids.

Now, if you’ve purchased scores of guns over the last few years including naughty guns, then you have a slightly higher chance of finding yourself on the wrong end of a compliance check.  Particularly if you live in Cook, Lake or Champaign Counties.  Regardless of where you live, hopefully you and everyone in your home are on the same page about refusing to answer questions from police and consenting to searches of your home absent a warrant.



Or you can register.  If you’ve got Class III toys, obviously those must be registered.  If you’re worried to death about it, register them.

Downsides to registration?  Oh, I don’t know…  Maybe the governor’s plan to “close the existing owner loophole” after a mass casualty event next year?  Or potential for Illinois Department of Revenue “random” audits?  Or other issues?

At Guns Save Life, we urged people not to register early in this process back in September.  Today, we formally encourage folks to take the option that best suits their circumstances.

15 thoughts on “‘IT DEPENDS’: Deciding whether or not to register is an intensely personal decision we all have to make…”
  1. I registered mine. It absolutely pisses me off I was maneuvered into this by Gov. Fat Fuck and his gaggle of sturmtruppen, but the simple fact of the matter is that I cannot afford a potential criminal prosecution at this stage of my life, losing everything my family and I have worked to build over a lifetime. The courts failed to correct the issue in a timely enough manner to prevent this from happening, and I felt their was no further option after Christmas came and went. There may be a ‘Sarah Connor’ type out there that plans to take on Skynet but that person isn’t me.

    You have to give this state its due – they played this masterfully. They lined up their resources, paid off the correct judges, and made sure to drag this out over and entire year while our side dicked around and tried to obtain injunctive relief (as expected). We never had a chance from the minute Fat Fuck wrapped his greasy mitts around pen, and signed this shit. We played by the rules and they didn’t, because that is what we always do. We counted on the courts to put an end to this, and they refused. Gun owners have no friends left anywhere in government. We are their avowed enemy, and they are pressing home the battle now because they have been emboldened to do so.

    If I thought for one minute we would see eventual relief by SCOTUS, I might be willing to roll the dice. I don’t. There is zero guarantee that SCOTUS won’t simply decline to hear the challenges before it and be done with it. The principal pain point has become registration, which hasn’t been tossed by any court at all (yet), and isn’t called out explicitly by Bruen. Might it be overturned? Possibly, at some point, but I won’t risk the farm on a very low chance. Our court record has been completely abysmal on PICA, and I have no great faith that won’t continue into 2024. Even if PICA is overturned by SCOTUS, the damage is already done. More likely, they will simply conclude that no one suffered material harm from registration, and therefore the challenge is dismissed. We won precisely one injunction which was wiped away by the Northern District as if it never happened – so much to the point that anyone who purchased a gun during the injunction even as a named party can’t register it legally even if they wanted to. The entire year has been a colossal waste of time and money on our behalf, for absolutely nothing accomplished. Crook Country rules Illinois and the wishes of all other citizens mean nothing here.

    We peasants need to disavow ourselves of the notion that laws apply to government. They don’t. Laws are passed to restrict the law-abiding. The Constitution, once the highest law of the land, was written to restrict government interference in our lives. It has failed, because we have failed it. Once judges decided to simply make laws as they go, the USC was on life-support. SCOTUS refusing to slap down PICA hard and fast was the death knell for 2A in Illinois, and perhaps the entire country. Efforts to nationalize PICA are now underway in Congress. Don’t count on milquetoast Republicans to have the backbone to prevent it, either. Their resolve is fading fast on everything as they are nothing but the good time Charlie party; opposition to the communists without any moral backbone at all.

    So, I will put into effect my plan to move my guns to another state as soon as I see confiscation efforts begin (most likely in Crook County). Registration simply buys me a little more time to make sure I can do what needs to be done with my rifles – assuming that the Feds don’t just pull the same shit at a national level. Just remember – once Illinois is done criminalizing rifles, handguns will be next.

  2. One of JB’s favorite lines is that not all 2.4 million foid card holders own these rifles, as he proclaims registration is effective. Well, if you look at this in another way, his point of view is still wrong. The Washington Post has reported that 6% of Americans own AR-15s (it’s not clear if the idiots at WaPo know that AR-15 is not a catch-all term or not, so this percentage may be a lower percentage than when all modern sporting rifles other than AR-15 are included…) The NSSF believes there are about 24 million modern sporting rifles owned by the public and if you calculate that as a percent to adult Americans that would about 9.4% of adult Americans own an AR-15. You can then extrapolate based on 9,907,200 or so adult Illinoisans that there are between 594,432 and 931,277 modern sporting rifles owned by adult Illinoisans. And so, the idiots like Pritzker and his pals, when they profess registration is working well, look like even bigger fools because, based on the latest so-called “assault weapons” registration figures from ISP, just 33,065 rifles have been registered, and leaves 561,367 to 898,212, not registered with ISP. It seems a poor result to me, and I hope this non-compliance shows up politically next election cycle.

    1. It’s likely skewed even further than that, by those of us that own more than one of the scary rifles, and of course by all the frequent felons running amok in Shitcago that are not counted at all. Great video of a recent broad daylight assault on a jewelry store in Shitcago by a whole-crew of aspiring rappers all armed with evil black rifles. I am sure that all were properly registered, so it should be a simple matter for Illinois Schutzstaffel to reach out and quickly round them up, keeping us safe.


  3. For those rehoming the banned items to another state, besides storing in an out-of-state location owned by the firearm owner OR at a location under the license of an FFL, are there any other options which would not be considered an illegal transfer by the BATFE?

    1. Transferring them to a family member or designated heir is acceptable under PICA so long as notification is made to His Majesty Corpulent Cocksuckers government via the ISP website. Understand that for as long as PICA remains in effect, those guns can NEVER be brought back to The People’s Republic of Illinois legally, however.

  4. If all the FFL’s would refuse to sell items that are banned for citizens to law enforcement the tide on this would turn pretty quickly. You see, police officers can say they oppose PICA all day long as they walk around with a 17 round mag on their open carry firearm and their unregistered “assault weapon” in the trunk. The day they walk into a gun store and get treated like their own citizens do is the day they ring the phones off the hook at the governor’s office begging the state to intentionally lose all of these court cases. People in our own community are going to need to step it up if there’s any interest in forcing real change. Police get treated the SAME as their “subjects” do. We’ll see how long that lasts!


    1. Look at Martha’s Vineyard. They had signs up saying all are welcome then one day Governor DeSantis sent some buses of illegal immigrants there and guess what???????? They were shipped out very quickly! It’s easy to say you support open borders until YOU are the open border. It’s easy to say you oppose PICA as a cop until THEY can’t buy over a 10 round magazine for a rifle or 15 for a handgun like everyone else. We have to make the right people in the right positions of power 1. Share the burden of unjust and unconstitutional laws. 2. Make them feel the back of the bus treatment of said laws like the rest of us do. Until the greater 2A community comes to grip that it’s up to THE PEOPLE to fix this we’re screwed. The courts as you all know have laughed us and the Constitution off the stage. We can’t count on SCOTUS either. I’m afraid.

    2. You, sir, have just given a better take than I have seen by our Executive Director for months. Bravo.

  5. Pritzker thinks he has us between a rock and hard place. Law abiding gun owners are particularly law abiding, and he thinks this is our weakness. I think it is illegal to register any gun, and PICA is clearly unconstitutional. So he has us breaking the law either way. I note that lots of Illinois Republicans’ violated the Fugitive Slavery Act before the Civil War by moving escaped slaves north on the Underground Railroad. So this is not unprecedented.

  6. I registered my rifle. I didn’t want to and I disagree with the law but I’m not going to make my life worse with a criminal charge over it and I’m not going to store my firearm in a safe across state lines (that is the dumbest and most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of). I also have zero faith in SCOTUS vacating the registration requirement (even if they strike some other narrow portion of the law). I don’t need the stress of always wondering if I’m going to get a summons in the mail or something. Screw that. I’ve got a rifle, I’ve disclosed it, and it’s staying in my possession. Honestly, I’ve never even fired my rifle and just bought one because so many people suggested I should have one to round out my collection. I’m more of a pistol and shotgun guy myself.

    1. JW: You wrote – I’m not going to store my firearm in a safe across state lines (that is the dumbest and most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of).

      I take great offense at that. That is exactly what my wife and I did and I don’t consider myself a coward. In fact, I consider registering them to be a greater sign of cowardice, but I must be careful as we have a number of full automatic weapons and other interesting devices registered and sitting in the same vault that the rifles and shotguns from Illinois are now residing in.

    2. @Chance I disagree. There is no great choice here but the only one that can claim to be brave is the one who didn’t register AND continues to use their rifle as if it wasn’t banned (taking it to the range, keeping it in their truck, etc.). By registering, I eliminate any chance of a criminal charge. I also keep the rifle in my possession AND use it as I normally would. I’m not afraid of the big bad government coming to confiscate my rifle. I’ll deal with that when it happens, if it ever does. You, on the other hand are so afraid of the government knowing you own rifles that you moved them out of state and out of arms reach so you can’t even use them if you need them. IMO that is super cowardly and not very bright.

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