We are in the waiting mode regarding the ISRA court cases. They are still creeping through the court system at the speed of a sloth. In the meantime, there have been a couple of preemption cases in other states that are worth looking at. Those states include Washington State and Florida. Preemption means that certain things are reserved for the Federal and State Governments and lesser governments and to keep their nose out of them. For example, the Federal Government only can print money. State governments issue driver’s licenses. States pass preemption laws reserving jurisdiction in certain matters. Typically, one of those is in the area of firearms. Members of city, town and village councils are prone to be populated by people who believe they are God’s gift to us all and therefore can do what they want. Such was the case in Weston, Florida. The State of Florida has a preemption law regarding the regulation of firearms. The City Council violated the preemption law by putting more restrictions on firearms and their owners that the state allowed. Why not, all levels of government have immunity for their legislative and other efforts? The Florida Court not only overturned the local ordinances but stripped the immunity away from those city officials who knowingly violated Florida’s preemption laws. The Court said, “Legislative does not shield individuals who knowingly and willfully act contrary to or beyond the limits of state law.” In other words, those who were harmed by an illegal ordinance can directly sue those who passed the ordinance. Those sued have to pay the bills out of their own pockets. Nice.
The HB2769, the Micro Stamping bill is sponsored by Representative Denyse Stoneback (D-16 Skokie). We are opposed to this bill.
OPPOSE HOUSE AMENDMENT #1 TO HB 2769 (STONEBACK) CREATES NEW GRANT PROGRAM AND FELONY CHARGE FOR UNPROVEN AND COST-PROHIBITIVE TECHNOLOGY FORCING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO SPEND MONEY TO BENEFIT A SINGLE PRIVATE COMPANY
The Biden Administration initiated actions in regard to what they term, ”the gun violence epidemic”. Translated this means they will attack legal firearms owners and their firearms. High on the list will be ARs with arm braces and 80% finished receivers that allow individuals to make their own firearms. These are referred to using the scary term “ghost guns”. For the record, criminals do not make their own guns, they steal them or obtain them by illegal means. As for those who use arm braces many disabled shooters use arm braces. Other agenda items include Model Red Flag Laws, calling on the Justice Dept to issue annual reports on gun trafficking and the nomination of David Chapman as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Chapman Is a devout anti gunner and is senior policy advisor to the Gifford’s gun prohibition group. This nomination puts law abiding gun owners in the crosshairs. The battle is coming.
The number of NICS background checks in March reached 4,691,738, a new record. The number of firearms purchased was 2.2 million. The number of firearm sales was the second highest for any March. Background checks continue to climb because of the increasing number of people applying for Concealed Carry permits across the United States.
There are other states that require other types of permits similar to the FOID card. Other states, like Iowa and Arkansas, are moving toward No Permit Carry or Permit-less Carry. I am sure by the end of the year there maybe 35 to 40 million people legally carrying in the United States. Firearm sales for March were down 15% from last year. Once again, I contribute this drop to a lack of firearms on store shelves. Ammunition remains hard to find with isolated availability here and there. When ammunition does become available, the price is high but it still seems to sell.
For the record, the ISRA does not like the FOID card but it is the law in Illinois and it has to be reckoned with whether we like it or not. The ISRA has to deal with the world as it is, not as we would like to be. In the future I am sure we will be looking toward a lawsuit to test the constitutionality of the FOID card. Preparing a case to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court is not like making your morning Pop Tart. Last year, the US Supreme Court turned down all 10 of the Second Amendment cases. Two of those were ISRA cases and one of those cases we had worked on for 13 years. Thousands of hours went into that case, as well as thousands of dollars, and we got nothing for it except a stack of bills. Taking Second Amendment cases to the United States Supreme Court is an expensive, time consuming, risky business. In the case of testing the constitutionality of the FOID card, the anti-gun side will try every possible delay they can think of to slow the case down. It could easily be 10 or more years before the case gets heard by the United States Supreme Court, if it gets heard at all. Even if the ISRA is successful, 30 or 40 percent of the present FOID card holders may be gone before the case is settled. That does not mean we are not going to move forward but that is the reality.
Pheasants Forever has published interesting but sad information on habitat. We are all aware of disappearing habitat throughout the Midwest. Illinois used to be known for pheasant and quail hunting. That has largely evaporated except for a few isolated spots where farmers have taken an interest in preserving prairie and woodland edge habitat. The numbers regarding disappearing habitat speak for themselves. Since 1966, quail habitat has declined 83% and pheasant habitat has declined 70%. In general, habitat for prairie birds (song birds) of all kinds has declined 53%. In the last 150 years, prairie grasslands have declined 95%. Not a very pretty picture.
Pheasants Forever has begun a fund project to save as much prairie grassland as possible and has an excellent record of spending money wisely. I am a long time member and have sent my donation, by the way.
In the middle of April the Illinois General Assembly returned to session. Usually, the General Assembly has dealt with about one third of the purposed legislation by this time. That is not true this year; things are still gummed up because of the COVID-19 situation. Right now there are only 34 session days left until the May 31 adjournment. That means if, and when, things break loose it is going to be a little crazy. It is certainly possible that there may be Special Sessions in the summer.
I would like to remind everyone to get their order in for the ISRA Memorial Brick project. There are forms in the Spring Illinois Shooter or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions please call Laura at 815-635-3198 between 9am-4pm Monday thru Friday.
Happy 100th Birthday to Finnish gun maker Sako firearms. They began by refurbishing Mosin-Nagant rifles that were used in WW I. They then began making them on their own. Those rifles did a fine job as the Russians found out when they invaded Finland. They are noted for their strong bolt actions and have manufactured bolt actions for Weatherby.
The Midwest Training Group (MTG) is holding three one-day classes at the ISRA Range which only requires 300 rounds of ammo for each class. The 1st class is a Low Light Shooting class on Friday evening, May 14; the 2nd is Intro to Defensive Shooting on Saturday, May 15; and Mastering the Revolver on Sunday, May 16. These are all introductory classes, but even if you have had similar classes before, you will always learn something.
Contact the MTG group at: email@example.com or visit midwesttraininggroup.net.
The ISRA just completed our first Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Registered Air Rifle Match at the ISRA Range in Bonfield. This match concludes our indoor air rifle and air pistol season which was the most successful we have ever had. I want to thank all the people that helped run the match and the Air Gun League this season. I expect air gun shooting to increase in the coming years due to the cost and shortage of ammunition. The air gun range will reopen in late October 2021
For those ISRA members who have not ordered your 2021 IGOLD pin yet, there is still time to do so. Please call the office at 815.635.3198 to purchase your IGOLD pin and tickets. Proceeds go to our legislative efforts. Thank you in advance.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org