There are two big events coming up that gun owners might want to attend.
The first is the USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense Expo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The dates are September 8, 9, and 10. The Expo will be held at the Wisconsin Center, located at 400 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee Wisconsin. There will be all kinds of seminars, and lots to see. The ISRA will have a booth there. Come see us.
The second big event is the Gun Rights Policy Conference, which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on September 22,23 and 24. This is a “fly in” conference so everything will be held at the Marriott Phoenix Airport. The hotel is located at 1101 North 44th Street, Phoenix AZ. If you are staying elsewhere or meeting local friends. This is the single best conference for updates on firearms legislation, court cases and International anti-gun movements. You can register by going to the Second Amendment Foundation website, SAF.org. This year’s theme is “The Road to Liberty”. I hope to see you there.
Right now, we are just waiting for a decision from the Seventh Circuit. When that will happen, I don’t know. Whatever the decision is, we will be heading for the Supreme Court of the United States.
The ISRA has other cases in court. They are in the discovery phase but are moving along. We will keep you updated.
Results are just starting to trickle in for the National Matches.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program at the National Air Rifle Championships are under way. There are 280 Air Rifle shooters competing. Central Illinois Precision Shooters, an ISRA affiliated junior team, placed 4th in the team match. One of their shooters, Ryley Passmore finished 4th overall, in the first day’s completion. Marrissa Hughes won 1st place in the Marksmanship Class in the CMP prone position National match. The Air Rifle Team placed 2nd in the USA shooting Championship. Excellent shooting! All of these shooters are thinking about shooting in the Olympics, so there are no slouches shooting.
The ISRA Bullseye Pistol team is at Camp Perry, Ohio for the National Pistol Matches. Tuesday, they stopped at Canton, Ohio for a Regional Pistol Match. The ISRA team won first in the Expert category at Canton.
There will be a lot more results next week.
On July 27, the ISRA office will open in Sparta. The ISRA is a sponsor of the Junior 3-gun camp, which will be held on the 28th and 29th of July. We could use more volunteers to help on the line. Call Shirley at 815.635.3198, if you can volunteer one or both of those days.
The Hawken Rifle will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2025. As lead up to the 200th Anniversary the Second annual Hawken Classic will be held on the grounds of the Historic Daniel Boone Home in Fort Defiance, Missouri, on August 25-27. The event is free and open to the public. This would be a great event to take your kids or grandkids to. The Daniel Boone Home is about 35 miles from St. Louis, Missouri.
Most of you know that the ISRA office has a collection of ISRA memorabilia and other items related to shooting history in our office. One of the items that we collect, are old ISRA shooting medals. We have some going back to 1907. Many times, relatives of the winners of these medals send us the medals with stories about the people who won them.
Last week, on June 29, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard an oral argument in Barnett v. Raoul, which was one of the three cases consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois with the ISRA’s Harrel v. Raoul. Together with two cases coming from the Northern District of Illinois, the six cases all presented challenges to Illinois’s recent “assault weapon” and large-capacity magazine ban/registration scheme. Currently, the laws are in force, as an injunction entered in April by the Southern District was stayed by the Seventh Circuit. (The issue of what happens to all the affected firearms purchased while injunctions were in force is still to be determined, perhaps in a separate court proceeding).
During the argument, there was tough questioning of both sides. The government Defendants (State and Cook County) argued – incorrectly – that the impacted firearms do not implicate the Second Amendment, as they claimed they are not used for self-defense, instead labeling them “weapons of war.” The government struggled to find the historical analogs for the restrictions at issue – the “how and why” as required by the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision – and had to settle for colonial regulations on gunpowder storage that were actually enacted for fire suppression and to protect firefighters.
The Plaintiffs’ attorney from Barnett, who also argued for the NSSF and the Harrel Plaintiffs and others – as well as the other Plaintiffs’ attorneys who argued in some of the other cases – pointed out that the Second Amendment, per the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and Bruen, protects firearms in common use for lawful purposes, not just self-defense. They argued that the semi-automatic rifles that are affected are very distinguishable from machine guns that were for the military and not commonly owned by civilians (though often used by gangsters and criminals), and that semi-automatic rifles have been used for self-defense and other lawful purposes for hundreds of years. However, Justice Easterbrook repeatedly asked whether it matters that something is in common use only because it wasn’t banned, and that something isn’t in common use only because it was banned. He asked whether it would have made a difference if the State had banned the weapons at issue years ago. Counsel noted that there are approximately 24 million AR platform rifles in the United States, and that must qualify as common use, especially as the Supreme Court noted in Caetano that 200,000 stun guns in the U.S. met the “common use” standard.
There is no timetable for a decision, though given the timetable of the statute we expect it will be sooner rather than later. However, whatever decision the Court makes will surely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.