The Spring 2021 Legislative Session is over for the Illinois General Assembly. The good news is nothing bad passed. The bad news is nothing good passed. The reality is that like it or not, the State of Illinois has the FOID card and we have to deal with it. Before we get into the discussion about the bills in the Spring Session, one has to realize that the ISRA has both long and short-term goals. One of the long-term goals is to get rid of the FOID. One of the short-term goals is to get the FOID cards and ICCLs in the hands of law-abiding Illinois citizens as fast and easy as possible. We recognize that a right delayed is a right denied.
Achieving these goals is not easy. Everybody wants to look at the FOID card issue in black and white; it is not black and white, it is many shades of gray, it stinks and sticks to you. Another thing everyone has to realize is there are no straight lines in Springfield. The path to anywhere is filled with zig zags and hair pin turns and resembles the flight of a stunt plane rather than a path. The ISRA lobbying team does a great job but they can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I know many are watching and saying why are they doing this or that? Remember, the goal is to move the ball forward to secure more gun rights and at the same time, not lose gun rights. It is not easy. I want to address all those out there that say why don’t you just get rid of the FOID card. The answer is simple; there are not enough votes to get rid of the FOID card. If there were, we would have done it a long time ago. The only way to get rid of the FOID card is to go through the Supreme Court of the United States and have them rule that it is unconstitutional. We are working on that. The people I love are those who tell me “You get rid of the FOID card and I will join”. Really, and just what is the Illinois State Rifle Association supposed to work with in the meantime? It takes member’s money and a lot of it; we don’t have a Michael Bloomberg or George Soros. All we have is each other.
HB1091 passed the Illinois House of Representatives but not the Senate. HB1091, the so called Fix the FOID bill, would have required all FOID card holders to get MANDATORY fingerprints. There were a lot of other onerous provisions in the bill. Let me be clear what this bill was about. The anti-gun side claims this is an anti-crime bill. It is not. It is clearly an out and out attack on individual firearm ownership. HB1091 would have required all firearm transactions to go through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer. This is just a back door gun registration scheme. HB1091 would also have raised the cost of the FOID card. New FOID cards would have gone up 1400% and FOID renewals would have gone up by 300%. None of these provisions are acceptable.
During the floor debate, one of the anti-gun State Representatives held up a copy of a study done by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath claiming that fingerprints for law-abiding firearm owners would reduce crime in Illinois. This study is obviously financed by anti-gun zealot Michael Bloomberg. It isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Similar so-called studies were used in Europe to promote gun control is several countries. These were financed using some Non Governmental Organizations (NGO). NGO is a term used by the United Nations and is a front group that doesn’t represent the will of the people. George Soros financed those studies. The claim that these bills and similar bills will help fight crime is hogwash.
HB562 passed out of the Senate but did not pass the Illinois House of Representatives. HB562 would allow for people who want a FOID card, or already have a FOID card, to supply fingerprints on a VOLUNTARY basis to the Illinois State Police and if they did so, would not have to renew their FOID cards ever. For those who have ICCLs and have already supplied fingerprints, it would be easy to do. For those who have electronic fingerprints with the State of Illinois with an ICCL, permission would have to be given to the ISP to use those prints.
HB562 would change the FOID Act by establishing a Board to handle appeals for the FOID card issues. Right now, the law reads that the Director of the Illinois State Police is to do appeals. The Director of the ISP does not have the time or the budget for that, nor the resources. The establishment of an appeals board with a specific time is a much better way to do the appeal process. On that board would be a Public Defender to represent law-abiding citizens which seems fairer. Besides, if the ISP denies you, why would you appeal back to them?
The private sale and purchase of firearms is a part of the Second Amendment in my view. HB562 does not require anyone to go through a dealer. Instead, they can access a portal that does not require registration of the make, model or serial number of the firearm. It would, however, check on the status of the transferee to make sure they are eligible. The $25 fee to do the transfer is too expensive.
In the end, I would like to remind everyone that neither one of these bills passed. For the record, the HB562 bill was 195 pages long. Also, please keep in mind that if these bills were passed, they would not go into effect until 2024.
Crime is rising in the United States which seems to be news to some people in this country. Some of the media can’t seem to get their head around the facts that when police departments are cut back and criminals are let out of jail and murderers are let go without bonds, crime rises. Also remember that police have no duty to defend anyone which includes you and me. I encourage everyone to get a FOID card and a Concealed Carry License and take advanced training. Trusting luck to get you through is a really stupid plan. Remember the old saying, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”
Gun sales are continuing at a brisk pace throughout the United States. There were 3,222,105 background checks and 1,300,000 firearm sales in the month of May. As in the last few months, there would have been more sales but store shelves in many parts of the country are empty.
There is no new news on the ISRA lawsuits to secure your Second Amendment Rights. As soon as something happens, I will let you know.
From June 10 - 13, Massad Ayoob will be presenting his MAG-40 class at the ISRA Range. It is a great class!
June 3, 1916 - Woodrow Wilson signs the National Defense Act. With WWI looming on the horizon, the National Guard Act brought the states militias under more federal control and made them the primary reserve force of the U.S. military.
June 4, 1942 - The Battle of Midway begins. The Japanese attacked Alaska in hope of drawing the U.S. Fleet away from Midway Island, a key military base in the Pacific. The U.S. Intelligence figured out the attack on Alaska was a feint to divert the U.S. fleet and laid a trap for the Japanese. The U.S. Fleet was outnumbered. When the Japanese attacked Midway with high explosive bombs, the American Carrier based aircraft attacked the Japanese fleet with torpedoes and armor piercing bombs. The Japanese planes on the deck waiting for takeoff against Midway had to be rearmed with armor piercing bombs. During the changeover, the American planes attacked. The United States lost one aircraft carrier and one destroyer. The Japanese lost four of their main carriers, breaking the back of the Japanese Navy.
June 5, 1944 - Preparations for D-Day continue despite bad weather. D-Day was originally planned for June 5. Weather forecasters saw a break in the weather coming so General Eisenhower decided to invade on June 6. The ships were loaded and the troops were ready. If June 6 wasn’t a go, they would have to hold off until July. By that time, the Germans would have a lot more defenses in place and there was always a danger that the German spies would discover the plan. Late on June 5 and early on June 6, Allied radio started broadcasting coded messages to the French underground, activating resistance fighters. Allied air power started pounding German positions and the Allied armada sailed.
June 6, 1944 - D-Day begins. After months of preparation, everything was in place. At 6:30am Allied troops hit the beaches in Normandy. By day end, 155,000 Allied troops would be on the beaches. The Germans were caught off guard. Most people only think of D-Day as the end but that is only the beginning of the battle. By the end of June, the Allies landed 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy. Allied troops slugged it out for the next 85 days before the Allies were on solid footing. The fighting was so ferocious and artillery fire was so great that some soldiers simply disappeared and all that is left of them is in the memories of their families and on the rolls of our honored dead. That was true in every battle in WWII. My father was on a landing craft somewhere in the Pacific. He was watching other boats and the one he was looking at was hit by an artillery shell. He said one second it was there and the next second it disappeared. I recommend watching a few really good movies about D-Day. The Longest Day is my favorite, Saving Private Ryan is another and the HBO series of Band of Brothers is another great movie. I was fortunate enough to have met the men who were part of the Band of Brothers. Let’s keep the memories of all veterans in our hearts always.
June 8, 1913 - The first-time forensic evidence is used to convict a murder. The badly decomposed bodies of two young boys who had been tied together and drowned in a quarry in Scotland were discovered. Sidney Smith and Associate Professor at the University of Edinburgh were examining the contents of the boys’ stomachs and was able to estimate the time of their deaths by the contents and adipocere, a type of fat that forms when exposed to water for long periods. A fragment of cloth was also found that traced them back to the Dysart poorhouse where the boys lived. Their father who had to pay a small fee to keep them there, took them out to save money. He wanted to spend the money on liquor. Forensic evidence showed they had been murdered a short time later. The father was put on trial and pleading insanity. The jury didn’t buy his story and he was hanged on October 2, 1913.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Range Work Day
CCSC/Joe Brown Garand Vintage Match
Back to Basics Holster Drawing – Concealed Carry
NRA Basic Pistol Class
Sunday, June 6, 2021
ISRA Combat Pistol/3 Gun League
ISRA Black Powder League (Bonfield Muzzle Loaders)
Paper & Steel Shotgun League
Tuesday, June 8 & 15, 2021
Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League
Wednesday, June 9 & 16, 2021
ISRA Benchrest League
F-Class Rifle League
Combat Paper & Steel League
Thursday, June 10 & 17, 2021
ISRA Smallbore Prone/F-Class League
Thursday, June 10 – Sunday, June 13, 2021
Massad Ayoob MAG-40 Class
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Joe Brown Highpower League/Robert Bishop Match
Sunday, June 13, 2021
CMP 900 Aggregate/EIC Service & Rimfire Match
Monday, June 14, 2021
ISRA Military Benchrest Rifle League
ISRA Scout Rifle League
Gun & Trade Shows
Diamond Gun & Sportsman’s Show – Diamond IL
Diamond Banquet Hall
Date: June 6, 2021
Hours: Sunday: 9:00-4:00
Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club Gun & Knife Show – Chillicothe IL
Chillicothe Sportsmen’s Club
Dates: June 12 & 13, 2021
Hours: Saturday: 8:30-5:00