Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill in the middle of the night last night that bans dreaded “ghost guns.” But the bill’s wording would do much more than outlaw home built firearms. Perhaps of even greater concern to Illinois residents and visitors to the Land o’ Lincoln is that the bill’s language could also ban current popular modular pistols like the SIG P320 and P365, as well as AR uppers that lack a serial number.
The final vote, taken at about 4:45a.m., not only bans firearm build kits, but also effectively bans possession of completed guns made from parts or build kits.
Beginning 180 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, unless the party receiving the firearm is a federal firearms importer or federal firearms manufacturer, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, purchase, transport, or receive a firearm that is not imprinted with a serial number by (1) a federal firearms importer or federal firearms manufacturer in compliance with all federal laws and regulations regulating the manufacture and import of firearms or (2) a federal firearms manufacturer, federal firearms dealer, or other federal licensee authorized to provide marking services in compliance with the unserialized firearm serialization process under subsection (f) of this Section.
No doubt the Chicago Police Department is bracing for the onslaught of gang members — 152 homicides as of this writing — rushing to turn in their newly-banned guns.
Looking through the legislation sponsored by Rep. Kam Buckner, a
drunk legislator who famously loves his liquor (and recently pleaded guilty to his second DUI), there are other aspects of the bill which, depending on one’s perspective, might be considered a bug. Or a feature.
Take for example the prohibition of unserialized frames or receivers. The bill’s definition of a receiver . . .
“Frame or receiver” means a part of a firearm that, when the complete weapon is assembled, is visible from the exterior and provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate one or more fire control components, even if pins or other attachments are required to connect those components to the housing or structure. For models of firearms in which multiple parts provide such housing or structure, the part or parts that the Director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has determined are a frame or receiver constitute the frame or receiver. For purposes of this definition, “fire control component” means a component necessary for the firearm to initiate, complete, or continue the firing sequence, including any of the following: hammer, bolt, bolt carrier, breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails.
Based on that language, it looks like your modular SIG SAUER P320 and P365 pistols will be banned unless the grip assemblies are serialized by an FFL.
But wait, it gets better. A reasonable reading of the bill would likely ban pretty much every AR-15 in Illinois, too . . .
For purposes of this definition, “fire control component” means a component necessary for the firearm to initiate, complete, or continue the firing sequence, including any of the following: hammer, bolt, bolt carrier, breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails.
That sounds like AR upper receivers will now require a serial number, as well as the lower. That’s something very few upper receivers (if any) currently have. Will buying one in Illinois now require a background check/FTIP check? Will a FOID card be required to possess one in Illinois?
What’s more, the galaxy brains behind this bill describe any parts that are “marketed or sold to the public to be used as the frame or receiver of a functional firearm once completed, assembled, or converted” as an unfinished frame or receiver. So technically, possession of slabs of 3/8ths plate steel for the side plate to a Browning 1919 could result in a (multiple) felony convictions.
While the ATF regulates receivers with greater than 80% completion, the Illinois bill criminalizes possession of parts of any level of completion to become a receiver.
Governor J.B. Pritzker will no doubt sign this bill with maximum publicity and fanfare. Fortunately, the Firearms Policy Coalition has noticed and are getting warmed up . . .
We’ll be seeing you. https://t.co/2vlaYoOzbn
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) April 9, 2022