The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has begun receiving some of the 8000 1911s in their first allocation. It will take some time to inventory them all and get them ready for sale. For years, the Obama Administration refused to allow the M1 Garands and M1 Carbines that were loaned to other countries, back into the United States. All of that has changed with President Donald Trump. Aside from the 1911s, the CMP has also started receiving the first of 86,000 M1s from Turkey. Another 13,000 which were loaned to the Philippines should be on the way soon. So far, they have not discovered any special markings on the Turkish rifles so they can’t be differentiated from any other M1s. It would be nice to get the M1 matches reinvigorated again. That may be possible with the new influx of M1 rifles.
There are quite a few new bills popping up in the General Assembly these days. One of those that are a concern is HB4700 (Carroll D-57 Buffalo Grove). HB4700 would force everyone to submit fingerprints when they apply for a new FOID card or when they renew their existing FOID card. This would drive the cost of the FOID card up tremendously. Not only would you have the cost of getting your fingerprints taken electronically, there would be the cost of the enhanced background checks. Right now, there are about 2,250,000 FOID card holders which means Illinois gun owners pay in $22,250,000. If this bill were to pass, that cost would go up to approximately $281,250,000. That is quite a large cost to exercise your Constitutional Rights, don’t you think?
A number some politicians don’t like to hear is the average number of FOID cards per representative district which is about 19,500. That is a lot of people in a state representative district who have the same interest. In a senatorial district, it would be 39,000. Because of the increasing number of gun owners, more people are interested in their Second Amendment Rights. That is bad news to anti-gun liberals. HB4700 would drive the number of gun owners down. Some gun owners think anti-gunners won’t take their guns away. Guess again.
One of the bills recently introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives is HB4338. If passed, HB4338 would outlaw raffles with so-called assault weapons (anti-gunner’s definition, of course) by state wide associations, law enforcement and others. My, my, I wonder who they would be referring to when they talk about statewide associations. This shows us all how far the anti-gun side will go to defeat those who support the Second Amendment. They know we aren’t founded by millionaires and billionaires, so they want to cut off our meager funding because that is the way the anti-gun side can win. The best solution is to make a donation to the ISRA.
With the hubbub coming out of the House Intelligence Committee, you probably recognize the name Adam Schiff (Congressman from California). In a recent speech, Schiff told the crowd that the Russians loved the Second Amendment because they thought Americans would kill each other. Well, Schiffty, that isn’t so; the Second Amendment is to protect citizens from an overreacting government, national defense and self-protection. So, Schiffty, you might want to read over the last sentence a couple of times a day – you might figure out that the Second Amendment is talking about people like you.
The ISRA Academy is always trying to provide the best information for ISRA members and the public. I am sure you have noticed deep discounts for classes if you are an ISRA member. We are pleased to announce that we are offering a Homeland Security Active Shooter Course on Saturday, April 7. This class will educate you on what to do if you encounter an active shooter event; it will also cover the topic of “when you see something, say something.” I have always thought that was a nice slogan, but no one ever defines what behaviors you should be looking for. This class will solve that problem. The cost will be $50 for ISRA members and $100 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. This is an 8- hour course that will be taught in our classroom. Lunch is included. Please check out the range calendar for the registration form.
If you have been watching the legislative alerts you know that SB1657 (Willis D-77) popped out of House Rules and is on Third Reading in the House. This so-called Dealer Licensing bill will lay there like a snake until, most likely, April. This is a bill to simply wipe out small Federal Firearm Dealers while leaving big box stores exempt, at least for a while.
The anti-gun twins, Representative Kathleen Willis (D-77) and Senator Julie Morrison (D-29) have introduced HB4337 and SB2317. These are far reaching trigger modification bills that would ban any trigger or trigger job that would make a firearm shoot better or quicker. These two bills mirror each other. If passed, these bills would turn competitive shooters, hunters, gun collectors and those who might inherit firearms into criminals instantly.
Also, recently introduced was bill SB2314 (Morrison D-29) which would destroy the preemption gains we made in the Concealed Carry Act. This would allow local municipalities to make their own rules regarding so-called assault weapons.
The point is that these bills are all dangerous to law abiding gun owners. It is important that all gun owners prepare for the battle ahead. There is not much time. The first thing you should do is join the ISRA. The second thing is to please contact your State Representatives and State Senators. This battle will not end for a long time.
I attended the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) Jan. 23-26 hosted by NSSF at Sands Exo Center in Las Vegas. The SHOT Show is for FFL dealers, the press, range operators, law enforcement and the military. There was 60,000 – 70,000 people in attendance. The general public is excluded. There are no sales here, only orders taken for later shipment.
Flying out to the SHOT Show is always interesting. The waiting area for the Las Vegas bound plane is always fun. One can just look around at the people and feel you are in the right place. There are a few snowflakes, but if you are in the airplane hijacking business you might want to try another flight.
Monday was Range Day for invited folks; luckily, I was one of those. There are opportunities to shoot the latest stuff and I always look for the new items from Illinois companies. My first stop was Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT) from Milan, Illinois. LMT has an AR15 in .224 Valkyrie. The .224 Valkyrie is based on a .223 case that has been shortened so it can accommodate a 90-grain bullet. I was using Federal ammunition with a muzzle velocity of 2700 foot per second and a ballistic coefficient of .563, according to the box. The rifle was equipped with a mil dot scope. Hitting steel plates at 100, 200 and 300 yards was easy. Ok, I missed two shots at 300 yards, but it had to be the cross wind. It couldn’t possibly have been me. This is an excellent round for hunting. Prairie dogs beware!
The next stop was Springfield Armory and their new 911 model in .380 and based on a miniature 1911 design; obviously designed for concealed carry, the 911 shot very well. The trigger was excellent, and the safety is operated below the slide. That means the safety can be on and you can still pull the slide back for unloading and clearing malfunctions. Nice.
I then tested the XDs in .45 caliber, with the improved grip. While I like 9mm, I have always felt you should care enough to send the very best, particularly if you have only a few bullets. I loved it. I have no idea how they managed it, but I found pulling back the slide very easy.
I will have more gun tests later, but that will have to wait until next week. I want to tell you, I was very moved by the veterans I encountered at the SHOT Show. It is common to see vets with one or more artificial limbs, some in wheelchairs or with service dogs (or both), but all supporting the Second Amendment.
Whatever time you read this, I want you to look at your watch and think about this: somewhere in the world there are American soldiers, dirty, grimy, and tired, coming back from a mission. Before getting some sleep, they clean their weapons, eat, shower, and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow. At the same time, others are going out on patrol. It will be hours before they get back, when they, too, will be tired, dirty, and grimy. Others are bringing up supplies, gathering intelligence, loading aircraft, patrolling the seas, flying missions, and tending to the wounded. These are all 24 hour a day operation. Some may have been killed. Someone must take care of them and also inform their families. Those left behind also sacrifice. I want you to think about all of those serving in our wonderful military and their families, thank them and keep them in your thoughts.
Then, I want you to think about all of those Congressmen who voted against funding our military, even for a moment, just to make a political point. Keep them in your thoughts also.
The Illinois State Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (ISRA-PVF) is the state and local Political Action Committee (PAC) affiliated with the ISRA. The ISRA-PVF acts as an educational resource, advising voters on the suitability of candidates for public office. We also supply financial and logistical support of the candidates for public office who share our views on the right to keep and bear arms. If you are interested in helping with this mission, please consider making a PVF donation. Donations to the ISRA-PVF are NOT tax deductible and are subject to the rules and regulations of the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Preparations have begun for Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) which will be held on Wednesday April 25, 2018. Please make plans to attend. This is an opportunity for gun owners to send a message to their legislators in Springfield. See you there!
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