The recent revelations regarding fund sweeps of monies from the State Police Firearm Services Fund and the State Police Services Fund are a travesty against law-abiding gun owners in Illinois [refer to the Headline News on our website, www.isra.org and please share our FB post]. These revelations are the work of the Illinois State Rifle Association lobbying team. The idea to check out what was happening to gun owners’ money became a discussion in April 2019 when the highly organized and well-funded anti-gunners began pushing the so- called FOID fix bill, which turned out to be a guise to crush firearm ownership. The project to find out what happened to the FOID funds was led by ISRA lobbyist Ed Sullivan. The ISRA has five lobbyists and each one brings different skills to the table. When added together, the ISRA has one of the best, if not the best, pro-gun lobbying teams anywhere. Ed Sullivan is a former Republican Floor Leader and was on the negotiating team when we passed the Illinois Concealed Carry Act in 2013. Remember, we had to override Governor Quinn’s veto to get that done. Ed Sullivan is an example of why experience matters.
In 2013, the ISRA stepped up to the plate to make sure Illinois gun owners received their FOID cards and ICCLs on time. That did not happen because the money was there; it was swept away and gun owners were left with bad service. The money went down the General Revenue Fund rat hole and, most likely, was wasted on stupid projects. Moreover, the gun owners stepped up to the plate and did the right thing and their reward for their good citizenship was to get the Gun Dealer Licensing Certification Act shoved down their throats, which wiped out over half of the Federal Firearm Dealers in this state. The ISRA case against the GDLCA will be heard soon; we are just waiting for a date.
I am often asked why join the ISRA? The answer is simple. No organization fights harder or more effectively for Illinois gun owners than the ISRA. Do we win every time? Not always. But we will always fight for you and we won’t back down. Every gun owner should be an ISRA member. If every gun owner was a member, we would enjoy even greater success in defending our Second Amendment rights.
Winter is something you need to prepare for. Besides your vehicle and clothing, you need to also think about your firearms and ammunition. Guns do not like going from warm to cold, or colder to warmer temperatures. Condensation will form on the gun and cause it to rust. If you are hunting, once the gun is in the cold it is best to leave it in the cold. I realize that is not always possible; if you have to bring the gun inside, do not leave it in the case. Condensation will form on the inside of your case and may become wet. You will be able to hear your gun rust.
Here are some quick tips for your firearms and ammunition. Clean your firearms thoroughly. Get all the oil out of every nook and cranny, and don’t neglect the areas around firing pins, strikers, safety devices, magazines and magazine tubes. During cold weather, oil can hang up all kinds of things. I have been around people who oiled the magazine tube on their shotgun and it refused to feed in cold weather. If you have to oil anything, use light synthetic oil. In arctic temperatures, I wouldn’t oil any interior parts. The oil used on the outside of the gun should be of a rust preventative variety. I prefer to use the oil wipes because they work well and are easy to use. Unlike oily rags, they don’t pick up foreign matter because they are always clean. When I was in high school, a new hunting fellow over lubed his shotgun and on a cold day, it did not fire. He thought the gun was broke so he put it in his car but did not unload it. When the car warmed up, it went off. No one was hurt but the car and his pride needed repair.
When you are hunting, target shooting, or have your self-defense firearm in the cold, it is a good idea to carry a small aerosol can of lock de-icer with you just in case the gun does freeze up. Be sure it is for locks. Some kinds of de-icer will raise havoc with your gun. Even so, clean the gun as soon as you can if you have had to de-ice it.
Be sure to keep snow out of the end of your barrel or barrels. Any amount of snow in a shotgun barrel will destroy the gun and may injure you or someone else. Even a spider web will destroy a shotgun barrel. I own a model 12 Winchester that a friend of mine had. He saw a spider web in the barrel and decided to clear it by shooting it out. It was a really nice trap gun. Now it is a not-so-nice home-defense gun.
Ammunition is not what it used to be. In the past, some ammo was temperature sensitive to the point that it became unreliable. I have not had any problems in recent years but you should still test what you are going to use to see if cold weather affects the performance. The same is true in hot weather. When I was competing, I would put my ammo in a cooler to protect it from both heat and cold.
I hope these small tips will help make your cold weather shooting or hunting adventures successful.
Bertha Vickers from Morgantown, Mississippi, is 101 years old. That is an accomplishment in itself but Bertha does not stop there. Bertha loves to hunt. Earlier this year, Bertha shot at a deer but didn’t realize there was another close behind the first one. It shot plum through both of them; she had bagged two deer with one shot. The hunt didn’t end there for Bertha. After her grandson skinned them, she took part in the cleaning process and shared the meat with her family. Good going Bertha!
President Barack Obama famously said, “Elections have consequences…” and nothing could make that clearer than the recent elections in Virginia. We are now seeing what many of us have been saying for a long time, which is that Bloomberg, Soros and the rest of the many elitist billionaires are funding a nationwide movement to disarm law-abiding American citizens. The combination of Bloomberg pouring millions into the Virginia elections, poor voter turnout, few strong Second Amendment candidates, and gun owner complacency has created a perfect storm against the Second Amendment in Virginia.
Gun owners that are mumbling it won’t be so bad, or other nonsense, are about to get a hard lesson. The fact is, it will be so bad if the anti-gun crowd gets their way. A prime example is Virginia Senate Bill 64. If SB64 were to pass, it would make it illegal to train people in the use of firearms. In fact, it would make it a class 5 felony. Here is how it reads:
A person is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or
Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.
The bill adds intent, or knowing, or should have known, language into the bill. We have seen this before here in Illinois. This language is a trap which will be sprung later. This is a warning to all gun owners everywhere. Heed it.
Virginia now has a vigorous Gun Sanctuary County movement under way. There are 133 counties in Virginia. Last week there were three counties that had joined the movement. Now there are at least 22 counties, with 53 more considering it. The fight is on in Virginia. Remember, just because you are not interested in government does not mean the government is not interested in you!
On Monday, December 2, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v City of New York case. This case involves the New York City ordinance that forbids lawful firearm owners from transporting their firearm out of the city. The only place you can transport the firearm is to and from your home and to one of seven ranges in New York City. There is another ordinance that covers business owners that allows transportation of a firearm to and from work, to their home and to the seven ranges. In either situation, no stops can be made along the way. New York City dropped the ordinance to moot the case as soon as the SCOTUS took up the case. The Supreme Court did not take the bait. Clearly, they knew the ordinance was unconstitutional. This is an old trick used by anti-gun groups. The strategy is to pass clearly unconstitutional laws or ordinances and make gun owners sue to get their rights back.
I do not have as much confidence in the SCOTUS as many have. Roberts is wobbly on the Second Amendment. We need another conservative Justice on the Supreme Court. The 2020 elections will determine our fate as gun owners.
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