The online publication “The Reload” reported what we already suspected about the NRA and their financial condition. The phalanx of lawsuits launched against the NRA and Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, has hurt them badly. Of course, the lawsuits were designed to do just that. Legal fees now make up 20 percent of the NRA’s expenses. The Reload sort of backhands the NRA for paying Wayne LaPierre’s legal expenses but in the real world, that is what has to be done. LaPierre was acting on behalf of the NRA and I am glad they are backing him up.
There are those who want Wayne LaPierre fired immediately. I am not one of those. First of all, to fire Wayne LaPierre at this time would give the anti-gunners an immediate victory. Secondly, just who do you have in mind to take that job at this time? You may have noticed there are no long lines of people applying for the position. Their name plate wouldn’t be on the office door before they were sued. Third, there is no one who has the corporate knowledge that he has. Like it or not, that is important. These are perilous times. You may not like the captain, but it still wouldn’t be a good idea to replace him with the cabin boy.
NRA membership is down from 5.5 million people to 4.5 million people and that is still significant. Some of those members are like me, Life members or greater. The only way we are leaving is feet first. It appears the NRA will be in a struggle for a long time. Other national organizations are stepping up to the plate. These include the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCKRBA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Firearms Policy Coalition.
NRA shooting programs are among the best anywhere. The ISRA will continue to use NRA programs, classes and certify NRA instructors. Marksmanship knowledge has to be passed on. We all need to help with that project. You can do that by taking classes, participating in leagues and competitions, and sharing your knowledge.
In Illinois, I assure you the ISRA has been, and is there fighting for your rights. Membership, donations and estate giving are all a part of it. The ISRA is engaged in Training and Education through the ISRA Academy, lobbying efforts in Springfield, and litigation. We need your support. Thank you for all you have done.
We are in the waiting mode for court cases but there is one which you might be interested in. That is the lawsuit which Mexico has brought against U.S. gun manufacturers. There are 13 states that have joined in the suit on the side of Mexico. Of course, Illinois is one of them. The others are “the usual suspects”: Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oregon and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia is not a state. It should be considered a foreign country.
Of course, you must remember to forget about Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Operation Fast and Furious. Don’t bring that up whatever you do, but I digress. Mexico doesn’t want to concentrate on the Mexican drug cartels because most of the Mexican government officials are on the take.
The adjusted NICS numbers are in for January 2022. There were 1,190,000, making January 2022 the 30th consecutive month over 1,000,000 background checks. The NSSF reports that the new Attorney General of Virginia has notified the Supreme Court of the United States that Virginia is withdrawing its support for the anti-gun side of New York Rifle and Pistol Association v Buren.
The action in Springfield is going to heat up in the next few weeks. Of the thousands of bills introduced only about 10% will pass. Some bills are not meant to go anywhere but are what I call “Press Release” bills or “See what I tried to do in Springfield” bills. We will keep you informed. Please stand by for ISRA alerts for witness slips and/or calls to legislators.
Right now, the ISRA Lobbying Team is monitoring about 245 bills in the Illinois General Assembly. While the committees are meeting virtually, this has not stopped bills from being introduced. Both the Illinois House and Senate have deadlines for the introduction of bills. During this time of the session, bills come tumbling out into the various committees many of which are only partially finished. Many of these bills have unconstitutional provisions in them or are contrary to Federal law.
SB 3094 (Collins D-16 Chicago) would create criminal penalties for the use of imitation firearms. This would include toy guns, water guns, BB/pellet guns, paintball guns, airsoft guns, and inert guns used for training. This is a clear violation of 15 U.S C. 5001 (g). This bill would also impose strict liability on the manufacturers of these items.
In better news, HB 4386 has passed out of committee and is on Second Reading in the House of Representatives. HB 4386 amends the wildlife code to allow rifles which use straight walled cases to be used for deer hunting in certain counties. Those would be counties with terrain similar to Wisconsin, Missouri and Kentucky. Those counties would be determined by The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Straight walled rifle cases are less powerful than bottlenecked rifles cases with some exceptions. Those exceptions wouldn’t be good for deer hunting. My .458 Winchester Magnum would be an example (I haven’t seen an elephant or Cape buffalo in the neighborhood since I bought it). The .357 Magnum is a good example of a modern straight walled round that would be good for deer hunting. Rifles that take straight walled cases are lighter than shotguns and recoil a lot less. They would be good for young deer hunters, women, disabled people and anyone of smaller stature. While limited where they can be used, this would still give hunting opportunities to many who wouldn’t be able or have desire to hunt otherwise.
Our next big event will be Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) which will be held on Wednesday, April 6. In the next couple of weeks, you will receive our mailing on IGOLD. Your participation would be appreciated.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) has released a statement regarding their efforts in getting FOID cards processed. Actually, the ISP does a good job as long as the person fills out the application correctly. If you, or whoever helped you, made some mistake on the application you are still in the soup. If you are an ISRA member, there are two staff members in the office who will help you. Please do not call on Mondays or before 10am.
One of the ways the ISP has sped up the process is eliminating those with profiting factors. In 2021, the ISP revoked 17,457 FOID cards. Many of those deserved to be eliminated. There is a percentage of the problems that the FOID card holders brought upon themselves because of not paying attention. These include being brought into court and being told the charges but not actually checking on the fact that the Clerk of the Court actually did it. The same is true with expungement, being told that after probation is over, charges will be removed from your records. There are other oversights also but the point is, you have to take care of yourself. If an attorney is doing it for you, follow up with them.
The longer one of these problems linger, the harder it gets to fix them. In many cases, it becomes impossible. People sometimes make mistakes that make it impossible to fix. For example, they don’t remember who their attorney is, what court they were in, what the charges were and the list goes on. If you get in some scrape, keep every phone number, note, legal document, contact and anything else pertaining to your case, copy them and keep them separated. It is amazing what can happen.
HB3779, the microstamping bill was assigned to the Judiciary Criminal Firearms Safety Subcommittee and will not be moving. Here is the synopsis as introduced: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that it is a Class 3 felony for a person to knowingly sell, manufacture, purchase, possess, or carry any firearm manufactured on or after January 1, 2022, that is not microstamp-ready, or any firearm manufactured on or after that date if the person knows that a microstamping mechanism has been unlawfully removed from that firearm. Provides that any person who knowingly or intentionally changes, alters, removes or obliterates the importer’s or manufacturer’s microstamping mechanism is guilty of a Class 2 felony.
HB5380 was assigned to the House Judiciary Criminal Committee. Here is a brief synopsis as it was introduced. Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (FOID). Provides that the sale or transfer of firearm ammunition is subject to the Firearm Transfer Inquiry Program (FTIP), requiring a criminal background check by the Illinois State Police, of the person, before the person may acquire firearm ammunition.
HB 2858 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Criminal Committee. Here is a brief synopsis as it was introduced: The bill amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Lowers the age at which a person may apply for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card from 21 to 18 and provides that a person who is under that age may apply for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card without parental consent required if he or she is an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces. Amends the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall issue a concealed carry license to an applicant who is at least 18 (currently age 21) years of age or is an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces.