On Thursday, Cam wrote about how a number of folks in Illinois are refusing to register their guns in an act of civil disobedience. It’s a prime example of when to be civilly disobedient, in my not-so humble opinion, and folks in Illinois are doing it.
Good for them.
It seems, however, that those unregistered guns–the guns that had to be registered for public safety–aren’t that big of a deal after all. It seems the Illinois State Police aren’t going to pursue charges for anyone for not registering their firearms.
The portal will, reportedly, remain open so people can still register them, but the ISP won’t be actively looking for those they know have guns but failed to register them.
Those who are later found to have unregistered firearms, though, could face felony charges.
Which, of course, would be a surefire way to make sure someone has standing to challenge a gun registry. Just putting that out there in case no one in Illinois has figured that out.
That may be why they won’t actively pursue charges against anyone. After all, I fail to see how a registration scheme is going to survive Bruen’s text, history, and tradition standard, after all, so the last thing Illinois should want is to basically hand the pro-gun side an excuse to challenge their brand spanking new law.
Of course, that’s only a short term solution if that’s their thinking. Sooner or later, they’re going to prosecute someone for having an unregistered gun and that person will likely have the standing to challenge the law.
For most gun owners in Illinois, though, their act of civil disobedience is sending a message and likely won’t actually result in prosecution. They’re not the people who are likely to give the ISP a reason to come and knock on their door other than refusing to register what guns they have.
Which, frankly, is hardly the state’s business.
Unfortunately, there will likely be a couple of folks who get jammed up on this whereas they wouldn’t normally have to worry. Some local cop who has a grudge or is just a hardcase will find out someone has a gun and that it’s unregistered, then kick in the door to make the arrest just because they can.
That’s the risk one takes when they engage in civil disobedience. I think everyone currently doing it knows the risk they’re taking, too, unlike those who engage in anti-gun civil disobedience and think their righteousness should give them a pass on criminal charges.
Here’s hoping it’s not an issue until the law can get overturned once and forever. At that point, everyone will know what the rules are about gun registration and, hopefully, how any registration scheme is unconstitutional.
Then maybe the anti-gun states will start to get the message that our rights don’t disappear because lawmakers really don’t like them.
Of course, since they haven’t gotten that message at this point, I sincerely doubt they’ll get it anytime soon.