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Illinois gun owners on hold for compliance instructions on private sales

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Prairie State gun owners wanting to know how to comply with a law that begins January 1 will have to wait until next week for the Illinois State Police to give them more information, The Chicago Tribune reported Friday. The law, which goes into effect on Wednesday, “will require individual Illinois gun owners to check their buyer's credentials with state police before transferring ownership of their weapons.”

The problem is, key details have been withheld. Even the Illinois State Rifle and Pistol Association, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, is unable to advise its members. Executive Director Richard Pearson said he has “received no instructions” on “how private sellers would confirm that their purchaser had a valid firearm owner's identification card.”

State police said they will make further details known at a Monday press conference, including providing a phone number or instructions for using their website to check buyer credentials and obtain an approval for a transfer following a required waiting period. Why the information is not available now, and what the reason is for waiting so long to inform the public have not been stated, but suspecting official indifference or even hostility to gun owner concerns would hardly be without precedent, especially since ISP appears to be doing bare minimum and no gun owner outreach is planned. State police have had problems in the past dealing with firearms permitting issues on a timely basis, leading to suspicion that there was intent behind delays, and it’s the same group that notoriously advised women wishing to defend themselves to not fight back, but instead to vomit, to be assimilated or, as a last resort, to scream and break out the grooming aids. But under no circumstances rely on a gun.

A brochure with basic requirements, but without the new but as yet unreleased verification instructions, is currently posted on the ISP site, and the relevant section is presented as the photo accompanying this column.

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