The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has issued a Scam Alert to those trying to purchase high demand shooting products on line. There are bogus websites and offers out there for ammunition, propellants and other items. I have received two calls from people who have been scammed so I know that this is happening. If this happens to you, call the FBI or the ATF and report it.
Crime is changing in the United States in a couple of ways. First, crooks are becoming more random and second, they are becoming bolder. Recent changes in the laws and attitudes of prosecutors are the root causes of these changes, in my opinion. Kim Foxx, States Attorney for Cook County and recently, Alvin Bragg, New York District Attorney, are a couple of prime examples. Bragg is making national headlines by announcing he will not charge people for some crimes and greatly reduce charges for others. If you think bad guys and want-to-be bad guys don’t know what is going on, you are mistaken. These people have more time to watch television news than you do.
There are certain people who are going to be criminals. There has always been people like that. I know there is momentum out there that has the philosophy that if you treat bad people nicely, they will be nice to you. It isn’t so with some people. I am not saying that first time offenders shouldn’t have a second chance for some crimes. There is another group out there that I believe is willing to entertain the idea of committing crimes but until now, the idea of consequences have prevented them from going further. Soft on crime polices are causing these people to crawl out of the woodwork. When they commit one crime and get away with it, they will commit another crime. As they grow their criminal career, the levels of boldness and violence climb each time.
The question is how are you going to prepare yourself, your loved ones and others to deal with all this? We all know people who are in constant denial with a nothing-will-happen-to-me mindset because it makes them feel safe, but they are, in fact, less safe. They become easy targets. I have found that those you have a relationship with are best trained by other people. These include spouses, sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. That includes me by the way.
One of the best ways to think about self-defense is with Col. Jeff Cooper’s color codes which came from the U.S. Marines in WWII. Col. Cooper modified it for civilian use. The USCCA book “Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals” does a great job of explaining the color code in terms everyone can understand. I suggest you get a copy.
Smiley’s Gun Shop in Bloomington, Illinois, was burglarized on December 12, 2021. Police reported 25 firearms were stolen during the burglary. Mr. Dajuan Edwards-Melton of Peoria has been charged with the crime. This is a federal offense. Mr. Edwards-Melton was arrested on December 13, 2021. This case is in Federal Court so there will be no plea bargain this time.
Release of Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau 1/10/2022:
Valid CCL Impacts FOID Expiration Date and “Combined Card”
430 ILCS 65/13.4 (new) (1) When a person who possesses a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card applies for and is approved for a concealed carry license, the valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card is renewed for 10 years from the time of approval instead of 10 years from the date of the original card. So, if you apply, and are approved for a CCL, your FOID will automatically be renewed (at no additional cost) for 10 years from the date of the CCL approval. (2) If a person is eligible for both a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and a concealed carry license, the Illinois State Police shall by rule create one card that may be used as both a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and a concealed carry license. A combined Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and concealed carry license shall be considered a valid card for the purposes of this Act. If a person who possesses a combined Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and a concealed carry license becomes subject to suspension or revocation under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, but is otherwise eligible for a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, the Illinois State Police shall ensure the person’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card status is not interrupted. The Illinois State Police shall adopt rules to implement this Section. Beginning January 1, 2022, with a few exceptions, the Illinois State Police will issue a new style of card that will look very similar to the current FOID card but will have no issuance date and no expiration date. If the holder has a Concealed Carry License, the upper-right-hand corner will contain the words, “Indicator: CCL.” The lack of an expiration date is due to the many new opportunities to renew the FOID without a direct interaction between the cardholder and the Firearms Services Bureau. The “AL#” at the top of the card is an internal, individual document tracking number.
HB2769, the Micro Stamping Fund Act, has been moved back to the Rules Committee for Amendment 3. This means we will see this bill sometime in the future. We will let you know. Remember all the bills filed last year are still alive.
What can gun owners expect in 2022? I predict that we will see lots of hit pieces on gun owners and the Second Amendment. USA Today has already kicked off the campaign with a hit piece about Virginia gun shows. The Bloomberg anti-gun media campaign will also be in full swing. Anti-gun crackpots will be crawling out from under their respective rocks. The goal is to discredit you, me and the Second Amendment. Be ready for it.
Reports on the Illinois deer harvest show a 12% drop in the number of deer taken so far. There is an antlerless season in January, but the major numbers are in and shouldn’t affect the totals too much. So far in 2021, a total of 71,675 deer have been harvested. In 2020, the total was 77,160. In 82 of the 100 counties where deer are hunted, it shows a drop in numbers. Randolph County led the way in number of deer taken with 2,162, and Adams County following with 2,042. Pike County slipped to seventh this year. A warm second season and a full moon aided in keeping the numbers down.
Like many of you, I keep my firearms in a gun safe. My first gun safe, which I still have, came with a combination lock. As I got older, those little lines on the dial became smaller and smaller and soon my arms became too short to turn the dial. I replaced the lock with an electronic lock.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to open the safe and it would not open. The batteries were dead. I replaced the batteries with new famous name batteries. The safe did not open. I put two more brand new batteries in the safe and it still did not open. I grimly came to the conclusion that the electronic lock had gone bad. Drilling a safe is an expensive, time-consuming process. All modern well-known gun safes are heavy duty, drill resistant and tough to get into. This particular safe was a Browning Pro Steel. When I had the electronic lock installed, I had my locksmith check the mechanism and he commented that he hoped he would never have to drill this safe. When the locksmith came, he took the electronic lock off and checked it. Everything was in order. He took out two of the brand-new batteries I had put in and replaced them with two Duracell Pro Cell 9-volt batteries that he had brought with him. He entered the combination and the safe opened immediately. It turns out that all 9-volt batteries are not created equal. The locksmiths had also had problems with batteries, so the locksmith’s organizations tested dozens of them. Most do not produce 9 volts. Okay for a smoke detector maybe, but not a gun safe. The most reliable batteries are Duracell Pro Cells according to their tests. Duracell Pro Cell batteries are not standard Duracell batteries. Some specialty battery stores carry them, or you can order them on line. The worst part of this is I knew about Duracell Pro Cells but the store where I usually purchased them closed and I got lazy. It cost me.