March 2, 2024

They’re Coming for Your AR’s and Standard Capacity Magazines

By Dan Eldridge

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that the Democratic caucus of the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) plans to bring forward an “assault weapons” ban during the lame duck session in January. The text of the proposed bill (focus on the strike-through and underlined text at the link, everything else is current law) was released later and it should horrify any gun owner.

The bill is facially unconstitutional, and we are planning the court challenges.

Major trouble areas: 

  • State-wide registry of all currently owned “assault weapons”
  • Ban on sales of “assault weapons”
  • Ban on sale and possession of all (long gun and handgun) magazines holding more than 10 rounds
  • Raise the age for FOID eligibility to 21
  • Firearm Restraining Orders extend from the current 6 to 12 months

This bill will be effective date, as soon as the Governor signs it. 

Possession of all 10+ round magazines is illegal. Manufacture, possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of assault weapons (p. 53-65) is illegal. Only weapons personally owned before the effective date are exempt and must be registered with the Illinois State Police 300 days after the Governor signs the legislation.
Hello Registry! And you must pay $25 to register your “assault rifles.” This includes all pistols with threaded barrels.

Penalties: P. 65, line 9

A person who knowingly manufactures, delivers, sells, purchases, or possesses or causes to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed an assault weapon in violation of this Section commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation or for the possession or delivery of 2 or more of these weapons at the same time.

Fail to register your AR and you’re potentially a felon and stripped of your rights. 

Magazines P.64

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, or purchased a large capacity ammunition feeding device…

(d) Sentence. A person who knowingly delivers, sells, purchases, or causes to be delivered, sold, or purchased in violation of this Section a large capacity ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition commits a Class 3 felony for a first violation and a Class 2 felony for a second or subsequent violation or for delivery or possession of 2 or more of these devices at the same time. Any other violation of this Section is a Class A misdemeanor.

The “good” news: you’ll only catch a misdemeanor for that spare GLOCK 17 magazine you forgot about.

Timelind: The General Assembly lame duck session runs in early January (4th-7th and 10th). They have the votes to pass this. It’s not obvious how the State Police would manage the registration of hundreds of thousands of firearms. The act has an immediate effective date, so while the Governor has 60 days to sign or not, we expect his signature very quickly, meaning this thing could be the law by late January.

Our Response:

The same legislative body that just did away with cash bail and pre-trial detainment for a whole host of violent crimes now wishes to strip the law-abiding of their rights and property. We have been expecting this action by the ILGA and have been preparing for weeks.
When this passes and is signed into law by the Governor, we will, in conjunction with some of the national gun rights organizations and the dealers’ association FFLIL, immediately file suit in federal court.
We will ask for a restraining order preventing enforcement of this act pending the outcome of litigation. There may be a period of time during which this law is enforceable just due to the calendar even if we win a restraining order, as we expect.

This is an expensive fight, and it’s one that we must and will win.

In a post-Bruen and Heller world, this sort of ban is facially unconstitutional. AR-15 pattern rifles and duty-sized pistols are in common use and thus fall under the protection of the Second amendment after Bruen. There are further constitutional issues to argue in addition to the Second. he Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations are obvious.
We will not argue the merits of this “assault weapons” ban. The other side is pandering to emotionally-driven people who know nothing about guns, and they can’t be reasoned with nor can they be persuaded of the futility and unconstitutionality of this act.

This proposed ban is a sad example of how degraded politics and politicians have become in Illinois.

Rather than work with the industry and law enforcement to reduce the criminal misuse of firearms (hint: incarcerate criminals, and keep those accused of violent crimes in prison pending trial), the Democrat-dominated ILGA gun control enthusiasts prefer to pit one group against another. They are cowardly bullies, and the outcome will be further polarization of the politics of this state, deterioration of any constructive dialog, and the squandering of taxpayer funds when we win and are awarded court costs.

Dan Eldridge is the owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supply and Indoor Range in Des Plaines, Illionois. This article was originally published at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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