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ISRA Thursday Bulletin - August 12, 2021

by Richard Pearson

On August 2, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed HB 562 with Senate Amendments 1 & 2, known as the FOID Modernization Act.  There are all kinds of gnashing of teeth about what is in the bill.  Most have not actually read the bill or understand what it does.  It is true that the ISRA was neutral on the bill.

The Firearms Owners Identification, FOID card, is currently the law in Illinois like it or not.  While the ISRA doesn’t like the FOID, for now it is the law of the land.  For those who think we should just ignore the FOID, you are in La La land.

The ISRA has long and short-term goals.  The long-term goals include eliminating the FOID.  The short-term goals are whatever is in our power that we can do to make sure people get their FOID card and Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses in a timely manner.  We have sued the Illinois State Police over the FOID and CCL cards, but they are not quick fixes.  To those that tell us to let people wait, well, I don’t agree with that.  I have yet to hear from anyone who is waiting to tell me they don’t care!  To the HB 562 bill which is now the law:

 

*FOID cards will be renewed through the valid period of the CCL at no charge so that the expiration date coincides.

 

*For those who have a FOID and CCL, you will be issued a combined card at no charge.

 

*An electronic version of the FOID card will be developed so you may carry your FOID on your smart phone.  The law requires that dealers have to accept the electronic version.

 

*Whenever you purchase a firearm through an FFL, your FOID card will automatically be renewed at no charge for 10 years.

 

*The address change to your FOID card will be automatic because they will be updated through the Secretary of State database at no charge.  When you update your driver’s license or state id, you will have your FOID and CCL updated as well.  Currently, the cost to change your address is between $6 and $80 depending on how much time there is left before your renewal.

 

*There will no longer be an expiration date on your FOID card.

 

*The notification for renewal will be through USPS mail, text message and/or email.

 

*An Appeals board will have a public defender on the appeal board to better represent the applicant.

 

*There is no increase in the FOID card fee.

 

*If you have provided fingerprints to the Illinois State Police in electronic form and you give the Illinois State Police permission to access them, your FOID card will become a lifetime FOID card.  Of course, if you commit a crime, it’s gone. 

There will be a database created with stolen guns listed that is accessible to everyone.  This should help dealers and potential firearm buyers and others from buying a stolen firearm.  This part of HB 562 will go into effect January 1, 2022. 

The part that everyone is so worried about is accessing the National Instant Check System to make sure the person is eligible to purchase the firearm.  There is no charge for this part of the transaction.  It does require the seller to pay the dealer $25 who will accept and keep these records.  The dealer has no liability and it releases the seller of liability.  This will take effect January 2024.

You have the option of transferring through a dealer; that option has always existed.  It might cost more than $25 in some places but that is your choice. 

To all those who tell people to “Just say no”, that doesn’t always work in Springfield.  This was one of those times.  I hope this clarifies HB 562 for everyone.

We have been fighting anti-gun bills forever but the last three years they have gotten worse.  One example of that is HB 1091.  HB 1091 is still very much alive and I am sure we will see it or a bill like it again.  Right now, HB 1091 is sitting in the Senate, it has already passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives. 

HB 1091 is a terrible bill, but being terrible doesn’t mean a bill won’t pass if enough zealots are pushing it.  There are a lot of onerous features in HB 1091, some apparent and some not apparent.  The apparent ones are:

 

  • Requiring mandatory fingerprints for every FOID card holder.  This would be an incredible expense.  The bill fixed the price of fingerprints to $30.  That is price fixing and is below the cost of fingerprinting for the vendor.  From that $30, a vendor would have to pay the state $15 and if the Fed’s need them, another $15.  The vendor would lose money on every set of fingerprints.  If you have a family of 4, it would be pricey in any case.  This is just an example of how shallow thinking is in Springfield.  The goal is to destroy private firearm ownership so maybe it isn’t shallow at all.

 

  • HB 1091 would ban all private sales of firearms.  All sales would have to go through firearm dealers.  Once again, the bill fixes the prices of firearm transfers to $10 for the cost of the firearm dealers which is below the dealer’s cost.

 

  • HB 1091 would increase the FOID card cost to $20 every 5 years, a 1400 % increase.

 

  • HB 1091 would allow the Illinois State Police to charge the applicant for their background checks.  This is on top of the cost of the FOID card.

 

Some of the not so obvious provisions which are bad in HB 1091 include:

 

  • Expanding the definition of what constitutes “Clear and Present Danger” included is the term “any act”.  You could lose your Second Amendment right for sticking your bubble gum under the theater seat, telling someone they didn’t like their tie or shoes.  You are scoffing, thinking that would not stand up in court, probably not, but the point is to attack gun owners and cost them money, embarrass them and make it difficult to be a firearm owner.  The goal is to reduce firearm ownership by whatever means they can.

 

For those who say just take it to the Supreme Court, remember the ISRA has been there and also the Appellate Courts several times.  It is a long expensive project and you never know how the Supreme Court is going to rule.  People often think of how the Supreme Court is made up now.  It most certainly won’t be the same from the time when you get started until the time you get there.

HB 1091 IS NOT DEAD.

We realized something was going to pass.  Sometimes you have to select the lesser of two evils. 

Beginning a year and a half ago, the ISRA lobbying team was looking into the future.  We rightly predicted what was going to happen in cities like Chicago over the 4th of July.  Last weekend, in Chicago, there was a police officer murdered plus nine other people killed.  There were 78 shootings.  It is clear that gangs are now running the streets of Chicago.  Anti-gun zealots want to use gang crime to restrict firearm owners’ rights.

The recent resignations of three NRA Directors, Ted Nugent, Owen “Buz” Mills and Susan Howard, just before the NRA Annual Meeting is troubling but understandable.  All three of these now former NRA Directors were hard working dedicated people.  These may not be the only resignations.  The road ahead will be rocky.  This also means state organizations like the ISRA will step up and do more.

Ammo quest: Online ammo prices crept up a little over my findings last week.  A couple of gun stores actually had ammo cheaper than last week but are limiting the number of boxes that a person can buy at one time.  I have read several reports talking about ammo shortages lasting for two or three more years.  While ammo is more expensive, the fact is the higher prices are keeping ammunition companies in business.  Winchester Ammunition is a good example.  Winchester Ammunition lost $220 million last year but is now turning a profit.  Whether we like it or not, companies can’t stay in business losing money.

Tidbits:

August 11, 1934 - Alcatraz Island starts receiving civilian prisoners.  No one ever successfully escaped Alcatraz.  The name Alcatraz comes from the Spanish word for pelicans.  It was known as the Island for pelicans by the Spaniards.  In 1868, it became a military prison for dangerous military criminals, turncoats and traitors.  After becoming a civilian prison, some very famous gangsters occupied the prison including machine gun Kelly and Illinois’ very own Alfonso Capone.

August 13, 1781 - The Revolutionary War was nearing an end although few realized how close it really was.  One of those groups that did not realize how close were those loyal to the King in South Carolina.  The battles between the Patriots and the Loyalists were brutal.  Atrocities against the Patriots had gone from war to pure hated.  The Loyalists had misjudged the Patriots thinking there was no way they could possibly win.  Major Thomas Frazier led a group of 450 Loyalists and were leading the uprising in South Carolina.  Patriot Brigadier General Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox) and Colonel William Harden were determined to trap Frazier and his troops.  The trap worked and the Loyalists were decimated losing 50% of their troops.  The Patriots would have annihilated the entire Loyal detachment if they ran low on ammunition.  Cornwallis was defeated on October 17, 1781.  The rage of the Patriots did not stop with the war’s end.   After the Revolutionary War, Loyalists were tracked down, their property seized and were literally run out of the country.

August 14, 1945 - The news of the Japanese surrender was made public.  Japanese troops fought on, particularly on Japan’s northern Island of Hokkaido, because they didn’t receive the surrender message.  The Island of Hokkaido was not cleared of Japanese troops until 1946.  Japanese troops did not surrender on other islands until the 1960’s. 

August 15, 1899 - Henry Ford leaves his position as Chief Engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company to pursue his dream of building automobiles.  Ford was making the handsome salary of $1900 per year. His new position at the Detroit Automobile Company earned him $1800 per year.   

August 15, 1960 - The Woodstock Festival opens in Bethel, New York.  Woodstock was a success except for the people putting it on.  So many people pushed their way into the festival without paying, the promoters made nothing.  The only thing that saved them were the film rights.

August 16, 1896 - The last great gold rush starts in Alaska.  George Carmack his bother-in law, a Native American named Jim Skookum, and one other Native American, Tagish Charlie, discovered gold while camping near Rabbit Creek, Alaska.  Klondike Fever swept the United States bringing more than 100,000 people to Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.  Large scale gold mining did not cease until 1966.  By that time, 250 million dollars had been taken out of Alaska.  Remember, those were the days of $35 an ounce gold.  Today, the price is about $1600 an ounce.  There are still about 200 small gold mines operating in Alaska.  George Carmack made a million dollars by 1900.

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            Sunday: 9:00-3:00

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            Sunday: 9:00-3:00

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