Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) is Wed. April 1st! Come and join us in the march to defend your gun rights!!!
A few weeks ago, I reported on the misuse of Colorado’s Red Flag law. If you recall, Officer Phil Morris stopped 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes who was acting erratically; Holmes pulled a hunting knife on the officer Morris. Holmes was told to drop the knife 36 times. Officer Morris was going to draw his taser but Holmes attacked. Officer Morris shot and killed Holmes. Holmes’ mother, Susan Holmes, filed an extreme risk order of protection (ERPO) against Morris, using Colorado’s Red Flag law. The whole incident was caught on the officer’s bodycam. Prior to Susan Holmes filing the ERPO, Morris’s shooting of Holmes was ruled justified. This ERPO, of course, raised holy heck with Officer Morris’s life, as it would with anyone. The good news is that Susan Holmes was arrested on perjury charges and is in the Larimer County Jail. I hope they throw the book at her and give the maximum penalty. There is no due process in these Red Flag laws. You are guilty until proven innocent. At some point, I expect these laws will go before the United States Supreme Court and be declared unconstitutional. Of course, thousands of people will have their lives ruined before that happens.
One part of the anti-gunner’s strategy to destroy the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens is to make firearms difficult if not impossible, to purchase. One of the ways to do that is to crush firearm dealers by making rules so complicated it is impossible to comply. The latest Emergency Rules are a good example. The FFL Dealers are required to have a disaster plan. Here is the definition of a disaster that comes from the Emergency Rules.
“Disaster” means an occurrence or threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or technological cause, including, but not limited to, fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, hazardous materials spill, or other water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, epidemic, air contamination, blight, extended periods of severe and inclement weather, drought, infestation, critical shortages of essential fuels and energy, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, public health emergencies, or acts of domestic or cyber terrorism.
These FFL Dealers are normal everyday people. They may be excellent firearm dealers but they do not and could not have the resources to write a disaster plan, particularly one that is this all-encompassing as the one in the Emergency Rules.
The Illinois State Police has 21 State Police Districts in the State, each with a district headquarters, not to mention the ISP Academy and headquarters in Springfield. It seems to me that they should have a disaster plan that encompasses the very same things that the dealers need. Let’s see their disaster plans. I would love to see their plans for blight and infestations. Infestations of what? The dreaded donut beetle perhaps? These rules are the very definition of government overreach.
In the last few months, we have heard from dozens of people who are having issues with their FOID Card and Concealed Carry applications.
These complaints are not the typical run of the mill complaints. People are having serious issues and it has become obvious that these are not isolated incidents. There is a systemic problem that must be addressed.
Months of pleading and phone calls with the Illinois State Police has proven to be fruitless, leaving us no choice but to file a lawsuit. The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation have joined together to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the Illinois State Police, ISP Director Brendan Kelly and Jessica Trame in her official capacity as Bureau Chief of the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau, alleging they have violated the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens by not acting in a timely manner to act on Firearm Owner Identification Card and Concealed Carry applications.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Illinois residents Ryan A. Thomas and Goran Lazic. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of Wheaton and Gregory Bedell of Chicago. The lawsuit is known as Thomas, et.al. v. Illinois State Police, et.al.
Thomas has been fighting the system for nearly three years. He had previously held a FOID card and carry license but lost them simply because he moved out of state for awhile. Since his return, to be closer to his children. Lazic had a FOID and CCL appeal pending since 2017 when a charge against him was dismissed and later expunged.
The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division federal court, says the Governor “has swept or transferred funds totaling more than $29,500,000.00 from the State Police Firearms Services Fund, the State Police Operations Assistance Fund, and the State Police Services Fund away from these funds and into other accounts.” According to the complaint, “The money was to be used for three purposes: administration of the Firearm Owners Identification Card (“FOID Card Act”), background checks for firearm-related services, and concealed carry licensing pursuant to the Firearms Concealed Carry Act (“FCCA”). Instead, the more than $29,500,000.00 has been subject to inter-fund transfers which are ostensibly to be repaid but which have not been or swept into other accounts without an obligation to reimburse the funds at all.”
The fund sweeps may be the reason for these delays, but this is not a valid excuse. Law-abiding citizens pay good money in fees for the administration of the FOID Card program. It should not take years for someone to get a FOID application approved. We have tried to work with the State Police on this matter, but nothing is happening. We are left with no other choice but to file a lawsuit.
In the Spring 2019 Session, there were calls for FOID cards to be raised to $300-$400 per person. The complaint the ISP had was that they did not get enough money to do background checks, purchase equipment, and hire personnel to do the job efficiently and in a timely manner. We now know this is not true and completely unnecessary. As we all now know, the money was there but it was swept away. The money that was there which was FOID card fees and ICCL license fees (remember, this was not tax money) came from the people it was meant to serve but instead, it was tossed down a rat hole.
The Governor does have the power to sweep funds but the people in charge of the funds have a right to protect and ask that these funds not be swept. This apparently was never done. Both Governor Quinn and Rauner swept the funds. At this time, Governor Pritzker has not swept any funds of the State Police. The funds are there to make sure law-abiding citizens can exercise their Constitutional Second Amendment rights. Instead it was used to deny the Second Amendment rights of the citizens. Regarding the FOID, you can’t purchase a firearm or ammunition without the FOID card. In the case of the delayed ICCLs, the ISP said you were okay to carry, but some local jurisdictions arrested concealed carry holders anyway.
The ISRA and the SAF (Second Amendment Foundation) have asked for a writ of certiorari in seeking a review of the Culp v Raoul case. There are already 18 State Attorneys General who have filed amicus briefs in support of our case. This case challenges the refusal by the State of Illinois to take applications from non-residents who wish to apply for Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses.
The Bloomberg threat to the Second Amendment must not be underestimated. Bloomberg has offices in 50 states with 2100 workers, at last report. Bloomberg just dumped $250,000 into our neighbor, Iowa, on a single issue. I am sure he will continue to expand everywhere in personnel, advertising and money. While Bloomberg says he is running for President, I believe it is only a ruse to gain a wider publicity for his anti-gun stances. His Super Bowl ads pushed his wacky brand of gun control. Be very wary of Michael Bloomberg.
One of the duties of the Illinois State Rifle Association is to provide top quality marksmanship training to qualified U.S. citizens. I am pleased to announce the ISRA will host a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) for rifle, taught by the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). Only three or four of these classes are offered per year throughout the United States. The dates will be September 26th and 27th, 2020 at our ISRA Range near Kankakee. Please save the dates. Sign up will be through the Civilian Marksmanship Program. We will notify you when registration opens. This class will be using electronic targets and is limited to 90 people.
The ISRA and Spartan Tactical Training Group are working on a course designed to train volunteers in security for houses of worship. This will be a 3-day class and will include live fire and will be held at our ISRA Range. I will have more details next month.
The ISRA launched the ISRA Credit Card program, in partnership with Services Credit Union (SCU), on February 1st. If you are an ISRA member, take advantage of a credit card that supports the ISRA!
These are yet more examples of how the ISRA fights for you. I am asking all who read this to JOIN the ISRA if you are not members. You may also make a donation to the Legal Assistance Committee.
Join us on Wednesday April 1st at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield for our annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD). This event is open to all Second Amendment supporters! We encourage hunting and shooting clubs to sponsor a bus in your area. Please let us know if you are interested so we can make arrangements for bus parking with the City of Springfield. We need to see YOU there!
Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
ISRA Air Rifle League
Tuesdays – 8:00-5:00
ISRA International Air Pistol League
Every other Wednesday – 8:00-5:0)
Bonfield Muzzle Loaders
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Range Work Day
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Women’s Only Basic Pistol Class – Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club
Saturday, March 7, 2020
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Please Donate to protect your 2nd Amendment rights! Give the gift of an ISRA membership. Not an ISRA Member?