Due to the corona virus threat, the Secretary of State’s office has canceled all events at the Illinois State Capitol including Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) which was to be held on April 1, 2020. We have tentatively rescheduled IGOLD for Wednesday, May 13th, 2020. We regret any inconvenience caused by this cancellation. We will keep you updated. The IGOLD raffle drawing will still take place on April 14th.
Starting March 24th, 2020, the General Assembly is in session. Right now, we are tracking 259 gun bills. There are also an untold number of shell bills we are watching that could become reality in a very short period of time, even as little as a couple of hours. We will be very busy the rest of the session.
Tuesday, March 17th was the Illinois Primary Election, along with Florida, Ohio and Arizona. Illinois had 155 Democrat delegates at stake and 67 Republican delegates at stake. The Republican delegates are moot because we have an incumbent President in the White House. The down ballot races are very important however.
Joe Biden has willingly walked into the clutches of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown anti-gun front group. In fact, not only has he been endorsed by Everytown, he will undoubtedly be on the receiving end of some of the $60,000,000 they have pledged to support anti-gun candidates. This does not count the other financial support that Michael Bloomberg is willing to throw into the 2020 General Elections.
Adding to the clarity of Biden’s anti-gun position is his response to a Michigan auto worker’s question about gun control. Biden came unglued on video for all to see. What was cut from most videos was the crowd who erupted and chanted Trump, Trump, Trump!!! Nevertheless, this is a dangerous time for American firearm owners.
Joe Biden will have the Democrat nomination for President on April 28th, 2020, when New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maryland have their primaries. Looking over the cabinet picks Joe Biden is suggesting if he is elected, it would be a nightmare for gun owners. The cabinet would be full of nuts which would make every squirrel in the Country happy, not to mention our enemies overseas.
Friday, March 13th, was the anniversary of the Army’s formation of the K-9 Corps in 1942. It is amazing how much man’s best friend role has expanded in both military and civilian police and rescue since then. As an admitted dog lover, the relationship between dogs and man has always been interesting to me. The best explanation I ever found came from the Indians around the Grand Canyon and is as follows: One day a great crack began to appear in the earth. All the animals except man jumped to one side of the crack. Man was too frail to jump the crack. The dog, seeing man’s plight, jumped back so man would not be alone. Dogs and man have been together ever since. Makes perfect sense.
Leupold & Stevens, Inc has announced that the Mark 5HD Rifle scope has been selected as the day optic for the Army’s Precision Sniper Rifle program. The Leupold 5HD is a 5-25X56mm scope. It will be used on the new Barrett multi caliber platform rifle which includes calibers 7X51, 300 Norma Magnum and 338 Norma Magnum. It sounds like the bad guys better stay further away.
SB1966 has reared its ugly head again and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB1966, if passed, would require you to pay for your own fingerprints and your own background check to get a FOID card and force everyone to go through an FFL to transfer firearms. It would also raise the fee for a FOID card to $20 for five years. By the time your FOID card is processed, this would cost you between $300 and $400 – a lot of money for a Constitutional Right.
In the haste to get the SB1966 alert out, I made a mistake in the headline on the alert. I apologize for that error. SB1966 will go to the Senate Judicatory Subcommittees but that does not mean it is dead. Please call your Illinois State Senator and tell them not to vote for SB1966. SB1966 started out as a bail bond bill but the language was stripped out and replaced with new language. The language in a bill may change but the title does not. Although this is very misleading it is the way it is done.
There are many bills being passed through Committees with no real language in them. They typically are titled as a technical change. The most common wording in a shell bill is changing a word to the same word. An example would be taking a section in the statutes and change THE to THE. These bills can be amended quickly and have to be watched constantly.
The FOID Card and ICCL systems are awash with problems. There are some delays in issuing new FOID cards and ICCLs but the more urgent problem is in the renewal of those same cards. It takes months in some cases, even though there is nothing wrong with the applicants or their applications. If there is a clerical error on any application they seem to simply disappear into the bureaucracy, never to be seen again.
We keep hearing claims that there is not enough money. I do not believe that. We know that $29,500,000 was swept from various Illinois State Police (ISP) funds. Simple math gives us an idea of how much money was taken in by fees paid by FOID card holders and ICCL holders.
There are approximately 325,000 ICCL holders. The ISP receives $120 for each ICCL. That equals $39,000,000. Moreover, those cards/licenses are now renewing so the ISP is getting that money again. I would guess it is about $55,000,000 at this point. Add to that the money taken in from FOID cards in the last 10 years, and that is another $22,000,000. That total is $77,000,000. That is not chump change. Those monies are coming in every business day so it could even be more than that.
Under the Administration of Governor Quinn, the staffing level for the FOID Division was 39 people. Quinn froze hiring and kept the number of employees to 13, or one third of what was required. Quinn also swept the ISP funds. Quinn was an enemy of the Second Amendment and it was intentional, I believe. Governor Rauner also swept funds. These monies were not tax funds. They are monies that gun owners paid for a service but are not getting.
There are bills being introduced to fix these problems. In my opinion, it takes more than laws, it takes a customer service attitude that seems to be lacking. To be honest, the system either needs to work for the benefit of law-abiding gun owners or it should be scrapped. There are bills to do away with the FOID card but they are not going anywhere in this General Assembly.
Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-118th Harrisburg) is a sponsor of HB4447. This bill would allow FOID card and ICCL holders to apply for renewals 180 days in advance and would not affect their expiration date, which means no lost time.
Representative Windhorst also has HB4448 and HB4450. HB4448 would require the ISP to automatically renew a person’s FOID card if it expires during the term of their ICCL. This would prevent midterm cancellations of their ICCL which is an ongoing problem. HB4450 would require the ISP to either act on an appeal for reinstatement because of a denial, revocation or seizure of a FOID card within 30 days or issue a denial of the FOID card within 60 days.
Representative Dan Caulkins (R-101st Decatur) is sponsoring HB4591 which is very similar to HB4450. This is the first time in a long time that Representatives and Senators are addressing the FOID card and ICCL problems and trying to fix them.
The NRA Annual Meeting scheduled for April 16-19, 2020 in Nashville has been cancelled. Please remember to cancel your rooms if applicable. Details regarding a rescheduled NRA Members’ Meeting will be forthcoming.
I am really excited about the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) bringing the Rifle Marksmanship 101 Training Course to the ISRA Range. The class will be held on September 26th and 27th at the ISRA Range in Bonfield (near Kankakee). This class is taught by the Army Marksmanship Unit. The course description and online registration can be found on our we at: ISTA.org. The cost is only $90 and the ISRA is including lunch for both days. If you have special dietary needs you will need to make your own lunch arrangements. Please sign up today. Visit the ISRA website for hotel information.
The Illinois State Rifle Association is involved some big legal battles on behalf of gun owners across the state. Currently, we are involved in 8 total ongoing cases. Our legal bills are mounting and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Any financial support would be most appreciated. Help us defend your 2nd Amendment rights!
Active permit holders as of 3/11/2020:
FOID cards – 2,214,323
ICCL permits – 332,685
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Illinois State Rifle Assn
PO Box 637
Chatsworth, IL 60921
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