Maxon Shooters Blog

Can you repair your banned gun under the IL Assault Weapons Ban?

Can you repair your banned gun under the IL Assault Weapons Ban?

There is a great deal of confusion about whether or not a gunsmith or manufacturer can repair an AR-15 or other banned firearm in Illinois after the passage of the "Assault Weapon" ban (AWB). The publication of incoherent rules by the Illinois State Police (ISP) also did not help the situation. So, can you repair your banned gun under the IL Assault Weapons Ban?
The short answer is: maybe...

Here's the relevant text about possession at a gunsmith (3) IN BOLD below: 

Section 24-1.09(d)

Beginning 90 days after the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, a person
authorized under this Section to possess an assault weapon,
assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber
cartridge shall possess such items only:
        (1) on private property owned or immediately
    controlled by the person;
        (2) on private property that is not open to the public
    with the express permission of the person who owns or 
    immediately controls such property;
        (3) while on the premises of a licensed firearms
    dealer or gunsmith for the purpose of lawful repair;
        (4) while engaged in the legal use of the assault
    weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or
    .50 caliber cartridge at a properly licensed firing range
    or sport shooting competition venue; or
        (5) while traveling to or from these locations,
    provided that the assault weapon, assault weapon
    attachment, or .50 caliber rifle is unloaded and the
    assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber
    rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge is enclosed in a case,
    firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container.

Sounds Good, But Here Are the Problems:

  1. If we have to keep the firearm overnight, or send it to the manufacturer for a warranty repair, we can't return it to you.  Anything kept overnight has to be "acquired" onto our Acquisition/Disposition logs.  That means the firearm is transferred to us.  Back up at the top of the top of the "AWB", we have this:
    Sec 24-1.09(b)
    (b) Except as provided in subsections (c), (d), and (e), on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the102nd General Assembly, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, import, or purchase or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, imported, or purchased by another, an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge.
    Among the many undefined terms in this hot mess of legislation is the word "delivered," but it is reasonable to conclude that effecting a transfer on/off our books represents either purchase/sale or delivery. So we can't take it in overnight.
  2. Parts: can we buy them to make a repair?  We don't know.
    Section 24-1.09(a)(I)
    (I) Any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault weapon, including any combination of parts from which an assault weapon may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.
    The ISP has been asked for clarification on this issue and also to provide a definition of "readily assembled" and "readily modified."  So if you need a part can we buy it?  We just don't know for sure.

While-You-Wait Repairs

Maxon Shooter's Supplies continues to offer gunsmithing and repairs on a broad array of firearms, including so-called "assault" weapons, provided that the work on now-banned items can be done same-day.  Please contact the gunsmith to make arrangements for same-day repairs/modifications.

Just remember: if we have to keep the gun overnight, we legally can't transfer it back to you.

Our Litigation Update

We at Maxon Shooter's Supplies are 100% opposed to this unconstitutional ban on repair, possession or transfer of commonly used firearms. Through Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois we are constantly and actively litigating against it.

From our lead attorney:

"We share your concerns about the looming registration deadline. So we have filed a motion for leave to amend the Complaint in our lawsuit to challenge the registration requirement. We have filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction within days."

Despite there being no 7th Circuit ruling on the constitutionality of the law itself yet, and even though no matter which side prevails in the 7th Circuit court, that ruling will be appealed to the full 7th Circuit. Illinois insists on moving forward with its January 1st registration deadline, so we are forced to challenge the registration requirement specifically.

Our amended Complaint states that registration is unconstitutional because it violates the Second Amendment.

After all, there is no historical tradition of registering common firearms. This specific registration requirement is also unconstitutional on due process grounds because it is vague in multiple ways and does not give clear notice of what exactly must be registered. The law was passed at the beginning of the year, but we only got the Illinois State Police (ISP) rules implementing registration in mid-September. Those ISP regulations fail to clarify the vagueness issues in the underlying law.

Many people in Illinois don’t even know about the registration requirement, and even if they are aware of it, they CAN'T determine what must be registered.

Many aren’t aware that the registration requirement isn’t limited to just registering complete firearms. The registration requirement also applies to various vaguely described parts, accessories, and even individual .50 BMG cartridges.

We are scheduled for a status hearing next week and a hearing before Judge McGlynn during the first week of December.

Please support our efforts if you are able. Thank you.