As most of you know, the unserialized firearm bill or “Ghost Gun bill” HB4383 Amendment #2 passed the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate and is headed for the Governor’s desk. I have written several times about how the process works in Springfield, but I am going over it again since HB4383 Amendment #2 is such a good example. HB4383 started out as a bill which required utilities to notify people by certified mail in an area where a high voltage electric line is proposed. The original language was stripped out of the bill and replaced by the ghost gun language. The title of the bill still retained the public utility language even though the bill had nothing to do with the title. I received several calls asking why we were taking a stand on a public utility bill. You have to look at the amendments to a bill to understand what the bill is about. HB4383 passed about 2:30am on Saturday morning. There were 993 witness slips opposing the bill and only a handful supporting it.
I assume the Governor will sign HB4383. Just so you know, I have submitted the language of this bill to our legal team. If we can do anything about HB4383 in the courts, we will.
I want to thank the ISRA lobbyists Ed Sullivan and Bill Potts for their hard work on this bill as well as all the Illinois gun groups who fought this bill. While the bill passed, we have developed a coalition to continue to fight the assaults on our Second Amendment Rights in the future.
In my opinion, HB4383 is not about unserialized firearms nor is it about keeping them out of the hands of criminals. I know the anti-gun crowd and many of their fellow travelers in the media think this is their purpose, but this and other anti-gun bills are aimed at you and me. Does anyone actually think a criminal is going to take an unserialized gun to have it serialized and registered to their name? Criminals file off serial numbers from guns, they don’t put them on.
If those who sponsored or voted for this bill really wanted to do something, they would pass laws insisting criminals be put in jail and not let out. Putting criminals in prison gets them off the streets and prevents them from committing more crimes. We seem to be worried about the feelings of criminals and not what happens to the victims. A couple months ago, a 72-year-old veteran was beaten to death during a carjacking. What about his feelings? Or the little child that gets shot playing, or the women who are beaten, raped, and left for dead. What about their feelings and the feelings of their family, friends, and relatives? No, they don’t want to get tough on crime and on criminals, so let’s make law-abiding gun owners pay the price?
President Biden has tried to rewrite firearm laws by Executive Order regarding unserialized firearms which is patently unconstitutional. Gun Owners of America (GOA) is already working on a lawsuit on that babble uttered by the President. Joe Biden talks about the Constitution saying that it did not give permission to own a cannon. He goes on to say certain people were not allowed to own a gun. None of that is true. What the Constitution does do is put limits on the Federal Government because the Founding Fathers suspected someone like Joe Biden would somehow get elected someday. CCKRBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said, “Every time Joe Biden repeats the canard, he reinforces the notion that he is a habitual, pathological liar.” Well said and to the point Alan!
I don’t know if you watched any part of the Atlantic/CNN panel held at the University of Chicago. I certainly did not watch it all but saw some highlights. University of Chicago students were allowed to ask questions of the panel at one point. The Atlantic is a lefty magazine and of course, the CNN panelists were slightly left of Karl Marx. When I watch CNN, I usually know less at the end of the program than at the start, but this time was different because of the pointed questions of some of the students. What new and interesting thing did I learn? I Iearned what CNNs favorite sport is: Dodge Ball.
American companies are helping the beleaguered Ukrainians again. ATN who makes night vision scopes will be supplying 9000 optics to the Ukrainians. I have no idea about the details but the troops the Russians have poured into the country along with thousands of mercenaries will probably not be going for leisurely walks in the evening. Personally, I am fine with it if they want to.
It’s time to go shooting but sometimes the weather just doesn’t want to cooperate. What do you do when the pitter patter of a cold April rain is hitting your windows? I would start by cleaning your firearms. I know some of you were going to clean them before putting them away for the winter but didn’t quite get around to it. If that is true, it is even more imperative that you do it now. Whether you did or not, you should clean them in the spring. Scopes, binoculars, red dots and spotting scopes should have their lens cleaned. Be sure to clean them with proper cleaners and cloths. Paper towels, tissues and other paper products not made for cleaning should not be used. As long as we are talking about optics, let’s make sure they are tight but don’t overdo it. Be sure you have a fresh bottle of Loctite or similar products to keep rails, mounts, and rings from working loose.
I would check your ammunition supply. Prices have crept down just a little. If you shoot an unusual caliber and actually find your ammunition now, I would buy it. Ammunition companies do not have a loading machine set up for every caliber. For less popular calibers, they might set up a machine to load it and make there estimated annual supply all at one time. They then switch the machine out to load some other caliber. That is why late in the season certain calibers are scarce.
Starting out, it is always good to re-zero your rifle on a shooting bench. Be sure you use sandbags or other supports designed for the job. A rolled-up blanket will also work but whatever you use, make sure that it is soft, so the rifle doesn’t rebound when you fire it. Another tip is to rest the rifle on the forearm or barrel shroud and not the barrel. Resting the barrel on anything will change the harmonics of the barrel and change the point of impact. Remember to take your time.
Handguns and their optics need the same care as rifles. Be sure to start close and take your time. Concentrate on the fundamentals. Shoot at blank targets at the beginning of every practice and stop looking at the bullseye. Learn to shoot groups on blank targets and then switch to bullseyes or steel or whatever.
I would also think about joining a range. If you live in the northeast part of Illinois, I would consider the Illinois State Rifle Association Range at Bonfield, west of Kankakee Illinois. The ISRA Range has 12 ranges including shotgun and archery. There are leagues you can participate in if you choose, with no hourly fees, and a variety of classes offered through the ISRA Academy. The range hours are 8am to sundown all year round. If you would like a tour of the range, please call 815-939-1909. One of our Range Safety Officers will be glad to show you around. Let’s go shooting!
On Tuesday April 12, 2022, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed SB319 into law which allows permit less carry in Georgia. Georgia is the 25th state to have permit less carry. Dean Weingarten points out the geographically permit less carry covers 2,343,089 square miles of the United States or 61.6% of the country. I believe Nebraska will be the next most likely state to pass permit less carry. Georgia now recognizes all permits issued by other states, including Illinois.
IGOLD 2022 is in the history books. As we expected, it was smaller this year but it was still a success. I would like to thank all the members, volunteers, staff, lobbyists, and board members who helped. Once again IGOLD came off without a hitch. Next year, we will once again be allowed into the Capitol barring unforeseen events. I hope you will come if you didn’t make it this year. One of the things that happened that made IGOLD successful was the 25 or 30 Senators and Representatives that joined us at the Lincoln Steps on the east side of the Capitol. That is more than we have ever had by two. It is great to see that support among the legislators. Next year’s tentative date is April 5, 2023. All that depends on the Legislative Calendar which will be out in mid-December. We hope to see you there.
In a recent edition of “Imprimis”, a publication of Hillsdale College, Matt Rosenberg presented interesting statistics about crime in Chicago. Mr. Rosenberg is from Chicago and often writes about Chicago. He worked as a taxi driver before he became a writer. It has been my experience that taxi drivers know lots to things you won’t find in a newspaper. To the article: In 2020, the Chicago Police Department made arrests in only 11% of carjackings. Less than half of the 11% were ever charged. It turns out 57% of those are juveniles who are turned loose. I have no idea what the conviction rate was, but I am going to guess it wasn’t very high. That means if you carjacked someone, you have less than 1 in 20 chances of being arrested, let alone convicted. If convicted, who knows what the punishment was, if any.
Chicago also reported a 53% rate in solving murder cases. If you dig down into the numbers, you will find that 6 in 10 cases are listed as “cleared, closed with exception” which means that no one was ever charged. So, our 53% has to be multiplied by .40 which makes the real number about 21% but there is no word on the conviction rate. I am going to guess if you commit a murder in Chicago, your chances of getting away with it are pretty good. The number of people released on “no cash bail” was reportedly 147 per quarter. The Chicago Tribune claims that number is four time as high.
A retired Chicago detective told me that when crimes were reported, the categories were manipulated to make the city look good. Armed robbery might just be listed as robbery, burglary might be listed as criminal trespass. You get the idea. It reminds me of the adage “Figures don’t lie but liars figure.” I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be for the Chicago police.
Believe it or not, warm weather will soon be here. Part of the treatment for cabin fever is to drive around with your windows down enjoying the fresh air. We all do it. Along with the warm weather and fresh air comes a rising crime rate. With the already record numbers of carjackings, assaults, and robberies, we all must raise our awareness level to avoid being a victim. We must always keep our wits about us in traffic and particularly when we stop for gas, snacks or when we come out of a restaurant or store. Before we stop, we should roll up our windows and make sure our doors are locked. When we get out of the vehicle, we need to make sure we have our keys or fob with us. When we are done gassing up and coming out of the convenient store or shop, we must get in our vehicle, lock the doors, and drive away as soon as possible. The longer you sit there, the more of a target you are. It is sad but true that while anything can happen to anyone, women, and young women, in particular, are a target and in many cases, easy targets.
I recently watched a story about two college students who were fond of each other and met by chance outside a convenient store. They stopped to talk in the parking lot. Innocent enough but extremely vulnerable. They were approached by a nut case that neither of them knew. He ordered them in the car, took their money and got into their ATM account. Eventually, he forced them to drive out to a rural area where he shot them both. The young lady died, and the young man survived despite several gunshot wounds. Had they left the parking lot immediately, none of it would have happened. They didn’t do anything wrong, but they made themselves an easy target.
As you probably know, hordes of illegal immigrants are moving toward our southern border. To make matters worse, Title 42 will expire on May 23rd. Title 42 was implemented to help prevent illegals from bringing COVID-19 into the United States and prevent the spread of the pandemic. Title 42 was used to remove those illegals from the country. Of course, champions of the left were against Title 42, the last impediment we had to control illegal immigration. The groups who supported open borders have no accountability to what happens to the United States and its citizens, nor do they care.
There is no way the United States Border Patrol can handle the incoming hordes but of course, that is the idea. Worse yet, it was revealed that about 2000 illegals a day escaped undetected. Why would they do that if they are going to be let in anyway? My educated guess is that they are criminals and/or pack mules to haul in illegal drugs or both. And guess what, they are coming to a neighborhood near you.
So here we go again. Warm weather brings a rise in crime and the Biden Administration is bringing enforcements for the criminals. You and I are on our own. What are you going to do to protect your family and yourself? First, I would accept the reality that crime doesn’t always happen to someone else. You need to prepare. You need more training, and more training after that. I have some suggestions: A defensive rifle class or two would be a good start.
If you are interested in going beyond the beginner level and can spend two challenging days, I suggest Midwest Training Group (MTG) two-day Defensive Rifle Course. This class also teaches transitioning from rifle to sidearm. It requires 600 rounds of rifle ammunition and 100 rounds of pistol ammunition. This class goes from close quarters to 100 yards. The class will be held on May 28 and 29 (Saturday and Sunday). You will need to contact Andy Kemp at 208.771.3413.
June 22, 23, 24 and 25, Massad Ayoob will present his famous Mag40 class. This is a must for any gun owner because it deals with not only combat marksmanship but also the laws which pertain to self-defense. I have already had both classes. If you are a Concealed Carry Licensee or instructor, this is a wonderful class for you. MTG also handles this class. You will need to call Andy Kemp to register. His number is 208.771.3413.