Illinois handgun owners would be required to register their weapons with the state, and pay a $65-per-gun registration fee under a mayoral plan proposed Thursday.
Rahm Emanuel picked up where former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley left off. He is a notorious gun control supporter.
It comes at a time when the National Rifle Association and its allies are making a major push for concealed carry legislation. Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not allow its residents to carry concealed weapons. Emanuel helped pass the Brady Bill during his days in the Clinton White House.
“You already buy a title for a car. You already buy a title for a motorcycle. You buy a title for a boat. I’m not asking you to do anything you don’t do already.”
His proposal would require all handgun owners to obtain a certificate of registration from the State Police for every handgun they own at a cost of $65 per weapon, and to renew that registration every five years.
They would be required to provide their name, address and telephone number; the manufacturer of the gun, its model type and serial number; and the date and source of the purchase.
Whenever a buyer purchases a handgun, the seller would be required to report the sale to the State Police “no less than 48 hours prior to delivery.” Handgun buyers would have 20 days to file for a new certificate of registration. Anyone caught carrying or possessing an unregistered handgun would face a Class 2 felony.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said Emanuel’s proposal to impose a per-handgun registration fee is “preposterous,” illegal and going nowhere in the General Assembly.
“It’s a civil right [to own a gun]. You don’t have to pay for a civil right. It’s like a poll tax,” he said.
“He’s trying to limit handguns for criminals and he’s attacking law-abiding citizens. There are 1.4 million firearms owners in this state and he wants to tax them all $65. It’s crazy.”