The 2024 Democratic National Convention will be held in Chicago. The Midwest will be a battleground in 2024. The Republican 2024 National Convention will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I remember the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Brace yourself.
In Washington State, the Democrat-controlled State Senate has pushed through their version of a so-called “assault weapons ban. “If this legislation makes it to the Governor’s desk, he will sign it. That means that the lawsuits against the Illinois version of the so-called ‘assault weapons ban” takes on greater importance. Our lawsuit, Harrel v Raoul, is a federal case and will apply not only to Illinois but to the entire United States if we make it to the Supreme Court of the United States. At this time, I do not see any reason we won’t get there.
Yesterday was the long-awaited preliminary injunction hearing in our Harrel case and the three other consolidated cases in the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis. This is a challenge to the Protect Our Communities Act and the “assault weapon” and large capacity magazine ban in Illinois that was passed in January. The Judge started the 3½-hour hearing by noting that he had to look at the case from all angles: criminals and victims, their families, and law-abiding firearm owners who have done nothing wrong and who never will. Erin Murphy from Washington, D.C., argued for all the Plaintiffs and did a wonderful job explaining to the Court why the prohibitions were unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s holdings in Heller and the 2022 Bruen decision. She explained that the prohibited firearms and magazines were clearly “arms” under the Second Amendment and that the law did not pass muster under the “historical tradition” test the Courts must now apply.
The attorney for the State was grilled heavily about the firearms and features that were prohibited, for example, why a pistol grip or a thumbhole stock that could allow a disabled or elderly person to use a firearm more effectively in a self-defense situation but did not make the gun fire faster or the bullets any more lethal, was singled out for prohibition. The Judge also asked why large capacity magazines were banned if one is allowed to carry multiple smaller capacity magazines with them and questioned how that affected the ability to engage in self-defense.
While the Judge did not tip his hand about a ruling, it is encouraging that the State’s position was challenged much more than ours. The Judge either knew a lot about firearms or had been very well prepared and also made a point of complimenting all the legal briefs submitted in all four of the cases. While we do not know of the timing of a ruling, Judge McGlynn has shown himself to be very efficient thus far, so we are hopeful a ruling is forthcoming soon. As the cases are expected to quickly go to the Seventh Circuit regardless of the Judge’s ruling, and since there is already a case on this issue in that Court already, timing may turn out to be very important.
Now and in the next few weeks, outdoor ranges will be having open practice sessions and starting shooting leagues and competitions. With ammunition prices dropping and more available, now is the time to get started.
Many people are interested in shooting activities but don’t know how to get started. The ISRA has some solutions for you. The ISRA has 16 or 17 shooting leagues. Every one of them will help you get started. The only thing you need to bring with you to the ISRA Range is a good attitude and a willingness to learn.
One good example is shooting black powder rifles, pistols, and shotguns. The great thing about black powder is that it is inexpensive to shoot. The ISRA has quality black powder firearms we will let you try out under the watchful eye of our excellent instructors. All you must do is show up on the first Sunday of the month at the ISRA Range in Bonfield, Illinois, just west of Kankakee, Illinois. The black powder league starts at 8:00 A.M. You will need to show up by 7:30 A.M. As I said, all you will need to bring is a good attitude, a willingness to learn, proper shoes (no open toes), and a baseball cap. The black powder league is held on the first Sunday of every month. The next league will be on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Florida has passed permitless carry, and it has been signed by Governor DeSantis. It will take effect on July 1, 2023. Florida is the 26th state to pass permitless carry. We are waiting for oral arguments in the Illinois Gun Ban lawsuit. We are now less than a week away. The oral arguments will be held on April 12, 2023, in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois, East St Louis. I think it will take three or four weeks to receive a decision. Whatever happens, the case will be appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
In California, Judge Dana Sabraw of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California has granted a Preliminary Injunction halting the infamous California Handgun Roster. The roster was the offspring of the California Unsafe Handgun Act… no modern firearm has been able to meet the ever-increasing standard for ten years.
The recent mayoral race in the City of Chicago tells us which direction the city is headed. Paul Vallas is a moderate Democrat who is tough on crime. More than half of Chicago voters rejected his message. Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is an apologist for crime. I predict this means crime will rise, not decrease. If the crime rate does increase, don’t blame the law-abiding gun owners of this state.
The summer of 2020 was a bad year for rioting everywhere, particularly in Chicago. I hope we don’t have a spark to set off rioting like in 2020. As I often say, hope is a poor strategy. Prepare yourself for the upcoming summer in whatever way you think necessary.
I have mentioned the value of training with people who share where you live or those you often go out with. They may not be the same people. If they are not, you need to train with both.
In Hemet, California, a couple in their 70s heard someone breaking into their home in the middle of the night. The husband grabbed a .22 pistol and headed for the bathroom, where he heard noises. When he opened the bathroom door, he was attacked. The two men struggled. The home invader was 27 years old and had a definite advantage. Finally, the homeowner shot the intruder three or four times during the struggle in the bathroom. Then the intruder went to the bedroom, where he encountered the lady of the house. The wife had retrieved her .357 magnum. The intruder managed to hit her in the face, but she got a shot off hitting the intruder. The home invader then fled and was later picked up at a local hospital and arrested. Both the husband and the wife were treated for bruising and cuts from the battle, but they are alive and will be ok.
Had this happened and only one person was fighting back, both victims could have been killed or badly injured. The age disparity was a significant factor. Thankfully they were both armed. Of course, some will second guess how they fought back, but my comment to them is, being in a house in the middle of the night fighting for your life isn’t all that easy.
There are classes that teach people how to fight together to ward off attackers. They are great classes to take. I am guessing the good folks who were broken into never had anything close to a class like that. Think of how much more effective their defense would have been if they had.
Speaking of classes, here is a new one! May 27-28, Intro to Defensive Pistol, $500
NEW CLASS FOR 2023
This intensive two-day program introduces the new or novice shooter to combat handgun training. The program focuses on firearms safety issues, marksmanship basics, various shooting positions, speed reloads, drawing from a holster, and more. This is designed for the shooter who has never had formal firearms training or would like to review the fundamentals. Emphasis is placed on trigger control, sight alignment, accuracy, and safety. 500 rounds. No prerequisite is required, and you do not have to be an ISRA member to attend. Classes will take place at the ISRA range 1589 N 7000 W Road Bonfield, IL. Contact Andy Kemp at 208-771-3413 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.midwesttraininggroup.net.