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Calling all gun lawyers: can Illinois laws regarding SBR’s help stop the ATF’s brace madness?

As we all know by now, the ATF has decided that legally purchased braces for pistols should be deemed NFA weapons (SBR’s, or short barreled rifles). If you have a pistol with a brace (reminder, the ATF approved many of these braces and stated they did NOT violated the NFA regarding SBR’s), the ATF is saying you’ll have a few choices: Destroy the brace, destroy your gun, make the barrel 16” or register the braced pistol with the NFA (which they say they’ll wave the $200 tax). Well, if you’re in a state like Illinois, registering a weapon that the ATF just decides to change their mind on (after thousands of Illinois citizens took their word on it) is a bit of an issue:

The typically anti-gun state of Illinois is also very unfriendly toward the ownership of NFA items. The possession of short-barreled shotguns is totally prohibited, along with silencers and machine guns. Short-barreled rifles may be owned, but only with a Curio and Relics license. “Any other weapons” (AOW’s) and destructive devices (DD’s) may be owned, but not without the proper federal licensing and (extremely rare) approval by the state.
Sec. 24-2. Exemptions.
(a) Subsections 24-1(a)(3), 24-1(a)(4), 24-1(a)(10), and 24-1(a)(13) and Section 24-1.6 do not apply to or affect any of the following:
     (7) A person possessing a rifle with a barrel or
barrels less than 16 inches in length if: (A) the person has been issued a Curios and Relics license from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

In addition, here’s the actual law:

Due to this, the ATF’s new ruling (and for it being difficult to own an SBR in Illinois) many people in the state will become potential felons under federal AND state law without that stamp:

Being in possession of such a firearm without the proper BATFE registration paperwork and NFA tax stamp may constitute a felony under federal and Illinois SBR laws. There are however some rifles manufactured before 1934 that may be exempt from these laws.

Illinois residents will need to get a C&R license (more $ and paperwork to the ATF) and THEN register it with the NFA. In reality, pretty much the only legally way. Seems like a bunch of crap for thousands of people to go through to remain a “non-criminal“ in that state. It also seems like the ATF entrapped the citizens of Illinois, because it’s either fork up money for a C&R (it’s not much $ at all, but still) or have no other way of registering it with the NFA.

Food for thought for the lawyers, and I‘m sure plenty of Illinois residents would sign on as plaintiffs. Further, with the new SOCTUS ruling that people can sue federal againsts for violating their rights, I think allowing people to purchase something that they said was ok and then going back and taking it away under threat of law (especially with no easy avenue for compliance) leaves the door open for some juicy lawsuits. This can also be applied to any ban or NFA registration scheme regarding so called “assault weapons”.


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