The first Veto Session is scheduled for October 28th, 29th and 30th. Monday, October 28th, is the day to gather all legislators. The realization will start on Tuesday, October 29th. The mini IGOLD will be held on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. We will begin in the Howlett Building Auditorium at 9:00am, give a legislative update and overview of our goals, and a briefing on lobbying the Legislators before heading to the Capitol to lobby. The Howlett Building is on the south end of the Capitol Complex. You will need to enter through the east entrance of the Howlett Building or the east entrance of the Capitol Building. The east entrance of the Capitol Building may be easier because they have more scanners. These are secured entrances so be prepared to go through a security check. It would be a good idea to bring a Ziploc bag to put your keys, wallet, pens, and change in when you pass through security. This will make it easier on both you and the security guards in order to keep things moving. Please leave your pocketknife in your vehicle.
The one bill we will be looking at is SB 1966. This bill, if passed, would require the FOID card holder to be fingerprinted, pay for their own background check and firearm transfers through an FFL. This could cost the FOID card holder between $200 and $300, or even more, depending on what happens during your background check. The purpose of SB 1966 is to limit a person’s fundamental Second Amendment right by simply pricing people out of the market to acquire a FOID card, therefore pricing them out of their Second Amendment rights. There are those in the General Assembly that do not seem to understand that fundamental rights belong to us all. The purpose of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights is to inform legislators and public officials to keep their hands off of those rights. That is why the term “God given unalienable rights” is used. There are many in government at all levels that think their election or appointment to the office makes them God. Therein lies the problem.
The ISRA and its partners, The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois Carry, have filed for a petition of cert in the Culp vs. Raoul case. In other words, we are appealing Culp vs Raoul to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The Culp case is trying to strike down the rules that make it impossible for non-Illinois residents to get a Concealed Carry License in Illinois. Individual rights are not governed by zip codes, state lines, county lines, municipal boundaries or anything else. Culp vs. Raoul is trying to establish that through the courts.
Most of us meander through life changing gradually as we meet people and entertain new ideas. Every once in a while, we meet a person or an idea in life that causes us to take a sharp 90 degree turn in our life. We may not even realize it right away until we view it through a perspective of our own history sometime later. This can be a teacher, someone we work with, an acquaintance or just anyone.
I have been fortunate to have several positive events like this in my life. One of those events was from Ross H. Muench from Normal, Illinois. I was struggling to make the Illinois State University football team and it wasn’t going very well. One day I was griping about the football coach and did not realize he was standing behind me at the time. I think the skid marks my hind end made just outside McCormick Gym are still visible in the sidewalk many years later.
I was in search of something to do when I found out one of the instructors in the Physical Education Department was the sponsor of the ISRA Smallbore Shooting Club. I went to talk to her, and she talked to the coach, Ross H. Muench. We had a Range in the basement of the Bloomington Fire Department. I packed up my trusty Winchester Model 62A and headed for the next practice session on Saturday morning. It was a sobering experience. I had never seen things like Remington Model 37s, Winchester 52s, Winchester 75s, Savage 19s or Remington 513Ts but I did that day. I also saw how well they could shoot. I talked to Coach Muench and he loaned me a Mossberg 44 of some ilk but it was better than what I had.
Coach Muench had an abundance of patience and wise counsel. I borrowed my cousin’s 513T and I did better each time. I liked hitting this little impossibly small target. It was a test of mental strength as well as physical skill. With football, I was never going to be 6’ 6” and run the 40 in 4.4 seconds. I was strong enough but the rest I didn’t have and was not ever going to get. Besides, I kind of got used to not having sprained thumbs, busted-up knees and sore “whatever you could name” every week. The one thing I had was an old-fashioned work ethic. I had a job, in fact, many jobs, while going to school on scholarship. I could do the once a week practice much better than football every night and a game on the weekend schedule.
Coach Muench taught me a lot about shooting and everything else that goes along with being a good person and a good mentor. Coach Muench passed away October 3rd, at the age of 90. Thank you, Coach, you changed my life. I have tried to uphold your standards. I am sad you are gone.
The deadline for comments on the Gun Dealer Licensing Certification Act (GDLCA) Rules has passed. Now the waiting game begins. It will probably be December or January before there is a hearing. Until then, it will be business as usual. I don’t see this thing going into effect anytime soon.
The Supreme Court of the United States has, once more, declined to dismiss the New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. New York City case. New York City claims that because they adjusted their ordinance, the case is moot. These jerk municipalities are always trying to pull that one. They will double-cross you every time. Thankfully, the SCOTUS declined the request for dismissal and the case will be heard on December 2, 2019.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and other liberal Democrat Senators have threatened to pack the court. They would love to raise the SCOTUS to 13 or 15 Justices and overwhelm the stricter constitutionalists on the court. Just what we don’t need. Shenanigans like this is why every gun owner better be at battle stations from now through the 2020 elections.
The 2018 FBI Uniform Crime Report has just been released. It takes a while to compile all the data into usable statistics which is why it is released in September or October each year. Violent crime is down 3.3% from 2017. In 2018, there were 14,123 murders in the US. Firearms were involved in 10,256 or 72.6% of them. Despite the uproar, rifles of all types accounted for only 297 of them or 2.1% of all murders. The anti-gun crowd loves to talk about a murder epidemic, but the fact is the statistics show the opposite. I am sure concealed carry has a lot to do with that.
Speaking of murder rates, the City of Chicago has just announced that the Chicago Police Department will no longer be allowed to cooperate with ICE Agents. Chicago is already riddled with drug gangs and gang related murders. This will only make matters worse. This stupid decision will put every man, woman and child in Chicago at greater risk. Whatever happened to “no one is above the law?” This is lousy public policy. If you are a Chicago resident, you need to get a concealed carry permit pronto. I would be looking for a class today.
I am often mystified when people ask, “Why should I join the Illinois State Rifle Association?” There are several answers. The ISRA has won the Outstanding State Association of the Year award six times from the National Rifle Association, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Affiliate Organization of the Year award eleven times, Gun Rights Defender of the Year two times, the Illinois Wildlife Association of the Year award two times and the Illinois Sporting Goods Association Extra Effort award two times.
I know some of you are thinking, “so what.” The “so what” is that the ISRA doesn’t receive these awards for doing nothing; most of these awards are from National Organizations. That means out of the hundreds of gun rights groups out there, the ISRA keeps rising to the top. Look at the Illinois State Rifle Association right now. We have Culp vs. Raoul, Wilson vs. Cook County, Easterday vs. Deerfield, all of which we are, or will be, seeking appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States. The ISRA is the organization that sued over the Gun Dealer Licensing Certification Act. We also have the Vivian Brown case before the Illinois Supreme Court. We have White vs. Illinois State Police (ISP) in State Court, which addresses the problem of law-abiding citizens with FOID cards who cannot get an ICCL issued, and other cases coming all the time.
We have 5 full time lobbyists in Springfield that are always working when the General Assembly is in session. We send out thousands of legislative alerts a year. We have grassroots chapters all over the state that hold monthly meetings and we sponsor more than four hundred education and competitive activities a year. Who makes all this possible? Our wonderful members, that’s who.
Right now, we have slightly over 27,000 members. But to get the job done, we need 50,000 or more. If you are reading this and are not a member, please JOIN the ISRA today. SEE page 45 in this ASO edition for a membership form to join. The biggest battles are yet to come.
Thanks for being a member.
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