I can see where you are coming from. This whole process is clearly designed to dissuade as many people as possible from owning a firearm in the city. The costs in time and money is really prohibitive, a point that is clearly recognized. I don't like the process from that standpoint along with the more basic argument that Chicago requires a license to exercise a right. The comparisons to free speech licenses have been made and I agree with them.
However, to dwell on this is very gloomy. The key point is that now a legal avenue exists to own a handgun in a city that fought tooth and nail against it. The process is flawed and many aspects will fail legal challenges, some of which are working their way through as we speak. All I can say is that I have jumped through their hoops, done all the legwork and paperwork, and paid all the fees. I've done everything that they put up to deter me however I, and the people in my class, refused to be stopped. And now, as much as I’m sure the city hates the fact, I have a handgun in my home. This is a victory.
I also think the momentum is on our side. People seem to be warming up to the idea of law abiding citizens owning firearms. Positive exposure to shooting sports helps. I take new people shooting as often as I can. So far everyone has really enjoyed the experience and it helps to dispel many gun myths and stereotypes. The more positive experiences people have, and the more knowledge they have, the better it will be for gun owners in the long run.
I guess my point is that this while this is a draconian process it is a step in the right direction.
You have until your current registration on your shotgun runs out to get a CFP, though I would advise against waiting. Get your CFP as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of the 90 day window, and so you don't accidentally end up making your shotgun "unregisterable." While there is a one handgun per month rule, it doesn't seem to apply during the 90 day window that we are currently in. I also don't recall any language that indicates any total limit to your collection, only how many can be assembled at the same time. The only outright bans that still exist are on "assault weapons," “unsafe weapons,” and some wording on magazine size limits. Assuming your guns would individually qualify to be registered you could probably get your permit then send in a stack of registration forms. In fact, I recall another person at the station asking for 10 gun registration forms, which were handed to him without comment. You have to speak with the gun registration department directly, as they are the only ones who actually handle this process. While I had some difficulty over the phone with them, I still believe that it was due to how new this whole thing was rather than any malicious intent. The officers I spoke with in person were immensely helpful and supportive.
You are correct in your breakdown of the costs of this license. It essentially prohibits lower income families from being able to protect themselves. The cruel irony is that these are the families that most need the protection. Oddly enough, registering a shotgun or rifle was actually easier before this ordinance passed. It used to be only a $20 fee and you mailed in a form that you could pick up from any police station. Now you need the CFP for any firearm which requires the trip to CPD HQ during their limited hours of operation. My worry is that people who only possess shotguns and rifles will forego the CFP, thinking that it only pertains to handguns. Then when their registration expires, they find out they can’t renew without the CFP and now their firearms are in the city illegally.
I haven’t sent any emails to the people who helped win this case, but if my story can be of any use, I would most certainly want it to be. I should probably send some correspondence to at least thank them.