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Illinois GOV Signs Unserialized/Ghost Gun Ban Into Law. Thousands of Legal Guns Made Illegal With Stroke of a Pen.

May 20, 2022

Note: This is not a depiction of any known Billionaire Governor

This week, while perched upon the blazing dumpster fire which constitutes the state of Illinois, Governor J.B. (Please Re-elect Me) Pritzker, signed House Bill 4384 into law making Illinois the first Midwest state to ban federally allowed home-built guns from polymer or aluminum receivers which do not have a federally registered serial number. 

This purported anti-crime measure pushed by Chi-town legislators, comes at a time when violent crime is rampant, and Chicago is the shooting capital of the world. Five months into this year 1099 humans have been shot in Chicago and 209 shot and killed.  This is on track to double last year’s total figures of 1191 shot and 275 shot and killed in 12 months. Someone is shot in Chicago this year on average every 3:03 minutes and murdered every 14 hours and 30 minutes. Thanks Heyjackass.com for the stats. An average summer night in Chi-town kills and wounds more people than other “tragedies” and headline grabbing shooting sprees seen in the rest of the nation during the rest of the year.

The baseline claim presented to ban all non-serialized and home-built guns, is if all guns have registered serial numbers, then when they are seized by police, they can be traced back to original owners. This claim is of course built upon a series of faulty concepts like:

1. Tons of “Ghost Guns” are being seized – local records show only between 1-3% seized in Chicago last year did not have serial numbers…and it did not identify how many of those items were used in crimes, or how many were guns which had serial numbers scratched off vice guns built from 80% completion kits.

2. Criminals leave guns behind at crime scenes and Police trace and prosecute.  Criminals don’t leave guns if they can avoid it. Thousands of gun traces are run each year with very few prosecutions initiated. The only data I could find online from ATF for Illinois was from 2016 and showed over 12,000 traces run that year with only 321 being tied to homicides or attempted homicides- or 2.675%

3. Criminals obtain guns legally, and if a gun is registered it can be tracked back to them.  They don’t purchase guns legally. The vast majority of guns used to facilitate crimes are stolen, obtained from family, from other gang members or straw purchased. 

4. Ghost Guns are rampant on the streets.  CNN said Chicago had 12,088 guns seized last year, and 455 were Ghost guns-3.76%. The number actually used in crimes were not reported versus the number merely seized, or whether they merely had the serial numbers scratched off.

The new law, 720 ILCS 5/24-5.1, is a great piece of very obvious gun control legislation. It bans guns. Period. Guns which were formerly legal to purchase, build and own under state and federal law. The law lays out an owner in current possession of a home built, non-serialized gun has six months to either purchase a new frame which has a serial number, destroy the existing frame, turn the old frame in to the police, or get the old frame serialized and registered with a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).  The hook in it, is the requirements as stated to update the frame into compliance by engraving-are impossible to meet and may be the foundation for Constitutional challenges to this law.

Hook #1. The law says an owner must get the gun engraved with a specific and registered serial number by a FFL. Sounds doable right? Internet research for gun stores or FFL’s  in Illinois who would engrave and record serial numbers on these frames-none are found. Zero. One such engraver was found in Florida, but if a frame had been drilled or worked on by the owner, they would not accept it for engraving. It reminds one of the time back in 2007 and 2013 when the California legislature voted to require all CA guns to be equipped with a firing pin which would micro-stamp a serial number onto cartridge primers when fired- ultra modern idea, (surprised then CA AG Kamala Harris found it good to go?) but only one such company in the US made such a device, the sole patent holder said it was not commercially ready or viable, and can be scraped off by sandpaper or a nail file. Not surprisingly California has brought it back in 2020 as part of their slow roll to banning all handgun sales in the state that do not meet their stringent requirements.

Hook #2. Deeper into the law is a provision which requires the engraving of these receivers to be made on a permanent and unremovable steel plate. (Similar to current Sig, Smith and Wesson, Springfield Armory polymer framed pistols made with a steel plate embedded in the frame.)  Well the hook to this provision, is almost all of the targeted non-serialized frames in question are made solely of polymer plastic. They don’t come with engravable steel plates embedded in them-and you can’t install one that would be permanent or meet the letter of the law.  If you just engraved on the plastic it could be melted off. So these formerly legal guns will become illegal with no way to make them legal despite 8 pages of law talking about how to do it.

Hook #3. Signing this law will make thousands of legally possessed guns illegal, and potentially turn thousands of legal gun owners who have never been involved in a crime into criminals. There is no grandfather clause to cover guns already legally made under state and federal law. The White House and BATF announced new rules related to this type of home built kits last month and changes kick in during August of this year- but they only address new kits and frames to be built in the future requiring serial numbers and federal registration. They do not address current guns.

Hook #4. The law states the Illinois State Police will publish public notice of the new law on their web site 30 days from 18 May 2022-and list all known services and businesses who are available to inscribe the old frames and do the federal recording of those numbers- treating the frames like entire firearms. Chances of the state police doing anything in 30 days would probably qualify as a miracle, and even if they did, as cited above, there are no known current Illinois based businesses who would be able to take on this task.

Hook #5.  How many legal non-serialized guns currently exist within the state of Illinois? No one knows. The build it yourself kits have never required federal record keeping and no statistics have ever been kept-it was kind of the point of the issue, under the federal law people could create their own gun for their own use and not sell or transfer it. These kits have been selling like hot cakes for at least the last five years and it was legal, moral and ethical to do so. There may have easily been one million unfinished pistol and AR receivers sold in the U.S.  If you divide that number by 50 states, then you might have just made 20,000 guns illegal in just Illinois. Sure looks like straight up gun control. This would be more guns banned at one time than with possibly any other law ever signed in the United States.

National news saw the Illinois legislature passing this onerous bill in the middle of the night last month, and also remarked upon it’s signing into law this week. Review of several Pro-Gun websites do not as yet mention any anticipated challenges to this law.

 

7 Responses to Illinois GOV Signs Unserialized/Ghost Gun Ban Into Law. Thousands of Legal Guns Made Illegal With Stroke of a Pen.

  1. Gipper's Ghost on May 21, 2022 at 9:43 am

    No such thing as a permanent unremovable steel plate. Anything that can be attached or installed can be detached or uninstalled.

    Does someone need to be charged under the law before a valid legal challenge?

  2. Bill on May 21, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Once again the liberal socialist Democrats of Illinois have found a way to make it look like they’re doing something to fight crime and violence while making sure they don’t offend actual criminals that use guns for illegal purposes.

    Nothing about longer prison time for being a felon in possession of any firearm, nothing that targets the drug market that funds the whole mess, and nothing about ending catch and release for violent offenders.

    As usual the liberal socialist Democrat politicians in Illinois ( as well as nation wide ) are using the bodies of people murdered by criminals and nut jobs as props to push their sick civilian disarmament agenda.

    They know that without lots of murder and mayhem they’d have no platform to disarm everyone and thats why they purposely avoid targeting criminals. The law abiding American is the target, don’t ever forget that.

    • CC Ryder on May 21, 2022 at 2:31 pm

      Your last line says it best.

  3. peewee on May 22, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    How is this not an Ex Post Facto law ?

    Ex post facto is most typically used to refer to a criminal statute that punishes actions retroactively, thereby criminalizing conduct that was legal when originally performed.

    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. Both federal and state governments are prohibited from enacting ex post facto laws.

    • Michael Keleher on May 24, 2022 at 4:19 pm

      I think Illinois ditched Ex Post Facto about the time they legalized marijuana…and said you could get old marijuana convictions removed from the books too because apparently not only was it not illegal now, they felt sorry about it being illegal back in the day too. Time travel politics.

  4. israelfirst on May 24, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Laws in Illinois have to be repealed/changed.

    In my county, NO ONE sells shotgun shells (or any ammo).

    I cannot afford to buy a large quantity through the mail.

    So to buy a box of Shotgun shells; I have to Drive 60 plus miles and hope they have something I can use. 20 shells plus gas is $50 dollars plus time.

    This is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!!

    I know Darren Bailey is running for Governor; but who else do we need to vote for to turn our state around?

    • Michael Keleher on May 24, 2022 at 4:17 pm

      My “secret” sources of shotgun shells this past year have been the 100 rd Win packs at Walmarts in rural counties or Farm and Fleet stores. Very difficult to find anywhere around metropolitan areas… and forget about steel shot for hunting…it’s nearly a myth right now!