I get calls regarding the ATF’s new ruling about AR15 Pistol Braces. All I know is that according to the new rule, owners of firearms with braces have been forced to make some unpleasant choices. They may remove the brace, forfeit the gun or guns to the government, or register them as a short barreled rifle(s). This must all be done by May 30th, 2023. To have them as short barreled rifles in Illinois, you must belong to a qualified re-enactor group and have a Collector FFL – impossible to do by May 30th. I know some are adding long barrels and stocks and turning them into AR15 rifles.
At the moment, the Firearm Policy Coalition has filed a lawsuit known as Mock v Garland in the United States District Court for Northern Texas challenging the ATF ruling. Aside from the obvious problem, the ATF issued rules for this about 10 years ago. Law-abiding gun owners complied. Now with the stroke of a pen, they all could become felons on May 30th. Mock v Garland alleged the U.S. Government has violated the Administrative Procedures Act of the U.S. Constitution. In my opinion, this was intentional to put the government squeeze on law-abiding gun owners.
Right now, the ISRA is tracking 108 bills that have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. We are opposing 16 of these bills, supporting 46 bills, and monitoring the rest. You can check the status of these bills on the ISRA.org website. Last week was a whirlwind of activity in the General Assembly, particularly the Illinois House. This week and next week, the Illinois House will be running up against time constraints to get bills to 3rd readings. Expect some long sessions. For those who watch the legislature, be sure the coffee pot is on.
Here is an update on our active cases (in no particular order):
Meyer v. Raoul (18-20 yr CCL cases) – Summary judgment filings have been made by both parties, and an amicus submitted for Defendants. There is a final pre-trial conference on April 19, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. in Benton Courthouse before Judge Staci M. Yandle. There is also a jury trial is set for May 1, 2023 (I am not sure what issues in this case are appropriate for a jury, but the Defendants must have asked for one so that is what is on the schedule). NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE
Schoenthal v. Raoul (public transportation CCL case) – Status date tomorrow (Friday). Summary judgment filing imminent, unless the Judge decides to dismiss on standing grounds, which is an issue he raised and has not yet ruled upon.
Singleton v. Kelly (FOID appeal delay case) – considering the effect of the new FOID Card Review Board on the case, including mootness. Probably over as we have gotten what we wanted.
Levine v. UL LLC (Plaintiff fired allegedly for storing CCL firearm in company parking lot) – Circuit Court Judge dismissed case for failure to state a claim (stated grounds not a public policy exception to at-will employment rule). Currently on appeal in First District Appellate Court, opening Brief filed 3/14/23.
Harrel v. Raoul (AWB/LCM case) – Motion for Preliminary Injunction scheduled for hearing on 4/12/23 in East St. Louis.
Atkinson v. Garland (federal felon restoration) – Dismissed by District Court; argued to Seventh Circuit – waiting for decision – strong indication it will be remanded for further briefing in light of Bruen – NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE
Miller v. Smith (foster care/home day care firearm prohibitions) – Summary Judgment to Defendants by District Court; Reversed and remanded by Seventh Circuit for further briefing in light of Bruen – NO CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS UPDATE
Florida has passed the repeal of the under age 21 long gun purchase ban out of committee. Several lower courts have ruled that a person’s civil rights are fully vested at age 18. In Illinois, we have the 18–20-year-old ICCL case (Meyer V Raoul) which is to be heard May 1st, 2023, in Benton, Illinois. This is in the United States Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
In the Macon County assault weapons case, Caulkins et al v J.B.Pritzker et al, the new law has been ruled unconstitutional by Judge Rodney Forbes. Judge Forbes has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the gun ban and registry. The TRO covers all citizens in the State of Illinois, not just the named plaintiffs. This case will go directly to the Illinois Supreme Court and expected to be heard in May.
The State of Illinois argument is that at the time of the adoption of the Second Amendment, citizens only had flintlocks. The U. S. Military also only had flintlocks. They were supposed to be equal. At the time, they had pen, paper, and ink; they did not have cell phones, the internet, or FaceBook. Free speech applied then as it does now. What the state refuses to see is that technology changes but civil rights do not.
The cases in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Illinois are moving forward. The ISRA Case, Harrel et al v Raoul et al is scheduled to be heard on April 12, 2023. That is before the Illinois Supreme Court hears the Macon County case. We will have to see how all this plays out.
One other ISRA court case is Miller et al v Smith et al. Miller is the plaintiff and Smith is the acting Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. In Illinois and California, foster parents are stripped of their Second Amendment right by bureaucrats. If you are a foster parent, you can’t have a firearm for your defense or the defense of those in your care. Even if no child is present, the rule still applies. There are no exceptions. The case is on appeal to the Seventh Circuit. If we win this case, it will affect laws in 44 states.
In Florida, HB543, the permit-less carry bill, looks like it will hit Governor DeSantis this session. The anti-gun crowd does not want armed citizens to be able to carry in public places which of course makes everyone in these places sitting ducks. Any place that restricts concealed or open carry makes those places an unrestricted hunting ground for criminals. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Nebraska also seems to be getting closer to permit-less carry. If both Florida and Nebraska pass their respective bills, that would mean 27 states would have some form of constitutional carry.
I have been seeing and reading news reports about the dwindling supplies of small arms ammunition held by the U.S. Military. I am sure the main cause is the war in Ukraine. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. I hear the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant near Independence, Missouri, is running three shifts every day. There is no more capacity available. Lake City is our number one military ammunition maker. Last Monday, another report said ammunition shortages among are allies, particularly NATO allies, are also worrisome. If we get into another brushfire war or two, that will strain the system even further. To give you an idea of how much ammunition is being used, I will use the production of 155mm artillery shells as an indicator. The United States had to ramp up production of the 155s from 14,500 shells a day to 20,000 a day. That is also capacity.
If the situation gets any worse, and I would not be surprised if it did, the government will take over private manufacturers of small arms ammunition like Winchester, Federal, Remington and others. That means the civilian supplies of ammunition will vanish pretty much overnight. I would suggest everyone add to their ammunition supplies while the prices are somewhat lower. That is what I am going to do.