Going for Broke: Now IL Dems Want Serial Numbers On Your Bullets

Just announced today, HB1586 will force all ammo manufacturers to institute a program of serialization

Published Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Gun Rights Watch article by GRW Chief Editor

Compounding on yesterday's news that Illinois now intends to start tracking all ammunition through the rigorous cataloging of all ammunition sales throughout the state, news now comes of a bill to force ammunition manufacturers to engrave every round with a serial number.

A word of warning: this bill is long. It discusses how every bullet is to be serialized, then rambles about every anal extreme to which they promise to harass ammunition manufacturers with routine surprise inspections, then continues in a lengthy description of what kind of charges you'll face for violating it, and finally recites a lengthy list of classes of people that are exempt from the law.

Here's the Highlights of HB1586:

What gun doesn't it cover?

  • Shotguns (individual BB's are too small to serialize)
  • Black powder guns
  • Blank cartridges (used for special effects in movies/television production, or for carpentry)

Who decides how the serialization is to be done?

  • As with the last bill, that dishonor rests squarely on the shoulders of the State Police. They'll need to come up with the specific numbering scheme and regulations regarding the engraving of the serial numbers themselves.
  • This part of the bill also adds another half-cent tax on top of the one cent imposed in the bill we linked yesterday.
  • It also assesses a fifty dollar fee on every manufacturer, not to mention whatever costs they'll have to incur for engraving machines and personnel to run them.
  • Finally, it wants the State Police to change the rules every so often to address new technologies.

What are the penalties and restrictions?

  • The law takes effect on January 1st, 2020.
  • Any manufacturing violation of it is a Class A felony.
  • Possessing unserialized ammunition would be a Class C misdemeanor.
  • Each round of illegal ammunition found constitutes a separate charge.

Who is exempt from the law?

  • Police and anyone assisting them
  • Prison guards and personnel
  • Military while on duty
  • Railroad security
  • Armored car personnel
  • Licensed security guards
  • Licensed private detectives
  • Licensed Private Security
  • Licensed Fingerprint Vendor
  • Licensed Locksmiths
  • Licensed Agents and investigators of the Illinois Legislative Investigating Commission
  • Investigators of the Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor
  • Probation officers
  • Court Security Officers
  • Anyone manufacturing or transporting ammunition for any of the above.

Note that anyone listed as exempt above must be in the commission of their duties or the exemption doesn't apply.

There's a lot more to this bill and it has not yet been examined by a lawyer. When and if the bill passes (we assume it will), we intend to revisit it with more information.