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Thursday Bulletin – February 15, 2024

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Thursday Bulletin – February 15, 2024

February 14, 2024

Executive Director’s Message
Richard Pearson


The Illinois State Rifle Association followed through on a promise made last January to law-abiding, responsible gun owners that they would challenge Gov. JB Pritzker’s so-called “assault weapons ban” on the grounds that the law is unconstitutional – officially filing their appeal with the United States Supreme Court on Monday in Washington, DC.

On January 17, 2023, the ISRA, Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Illinois challenging the law. After making its way through the legal process and out of District Court, on December 11, 2023, the Seventh Circuit rejected our request for a hearing as expected – paving the way for the certiorari petition (a formal request to review the case) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The ISRA remains on the front lines and continues to stand up to Gov. Pritzker and anti-gun legislators in Springfield on behalf of 2.4 million law-abiding, responsible firearm owners in Illinois,” said ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “Our objective from the very beginning of the process that started the moment Gov. Pritzker signed the bill into law – was to take our case to the United States Supreme Court – and today we followed through on that promise and now our case is in the hands of the highest court in the land,” said Pearson.

The ISRA is confident that if the U.S. Supreme Court accepts this case it will rule favorably, given the court’s previous decisions.

“We believe the Supreme Court will take a look at this case given its clear conflict with other Federal court rulings and the Supreme Court’s own historic ruling in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association versus Bruen case,” said Pearson. “It is clear that the Pritzker administration is more focused on making criminals out of law-abiding gun owners, instead of addressing an inadequate justice system which is permitting violent criminals to continue victimizing the good citizens of Illinois – and we look forward to the Supreme Court righting this wrong,” Pearson concluded.

At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court certiorari petition is pending, ISRA and the other Harrel Plaintiffs are preparing for a trial on the issues before Judge McGlynn in the Southern District of Illinois – currently scheduled to take place in the coming months. So whichever direction this case proceeds, ISRA will be ready to stand up for the rights of Illinoisans.

The ISRA is presently leading the charge as a named plaintiff on two cases and playing a supporting role in an additional five more – totaling 7 cases dealing with constitutional issues and on behalf of law-abiding gun owners in Illinois.

Your help is needed. We need the help of every firearm owner in Illinois. If you’re not a member, join now. Click here to download our membership formTo donate to our membership, please click this link. 

The  Importance & History of IGOLD

Join Executive Director Richard Pearson as he talks about the importance of Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day in the fight for 2nd Amendment rights in Illinois. Many advances in 2A rights have happened because of the participation of activists like you. This year IGOLD will be one of the most important events in Illinois. 2nd amendment rights have nearly been forgotten at the Capitol. Will you join us this year to remind lawmakers about the meaning of “shall not be infringed”?


A recent report from the Montana-based Crime Prevention Research Center says the majority of mass shootings in the U.S. since 1998 “have occurred in places where guns are banned,” and more than half of these crimes have been committed solely with handgunsThe report includes a chart showing this, and another chart showing that 82 percent of mass shootings occur in “gun free” zones. More than half of these shootings were committed with handguns, not rifles. Only 16.8 percent used rifles “of any type”.

In reality, mass shootings are not as common as the public has been led to believe. Media attention contributes to the public perception of such shootings happening more frequently. In an alarming 52 percent of mass murders “the shooter has seen mental health care professionals before their attacks.” Over the same period, 20 percent of mass shooters were veterans, and in 2022 specifically, about 6 percent were veterans, which translates to the overwhelming majority not having served in the military.

THE AMERICAN TRAP SHOOTING ASSOCIATION (ATA), located in Sparta, Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) have reached an agreement which extends the Grand American and the AIM youth shooting championships through the year 2036. This agreement secures one of the premier shooting events in the world for the next 12 years. The Illinois State Rifle Association has an office in the World Shooting Complex on Commercial Row, which is open during the championships.

I noticed on Lincoln’s birthday that there were a lot of Presidents Day Sales. I regret to inform you that President Biden is not in that sale because he’s been bought and paid for!

Sponsorships for IGOLD Are Available

We are now offering sponsorships for IGOLD.  We have 4 different sponsorship levels to choose what’s best for you, your company or your organization.

Come to IGOLD
Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day
– Private Bus Scheduling – 

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) will be on Thursday, April 18th this year. If your gun club, gun shop, hunting group and/or organization is thinking about bringing a bus to IGOLD with your members, NOW is the time to plan it.

If you are bringing a bus, please let us know by April 1st. The ISRA must pay for your bus parking in advance. Please notify the ISRA Office and speak with Shirley at 815.635.3198 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4pm. You can also email Shirely at­­. Please put BUS NOTIFICATION in the subject line. We will update you on IGOLD as we get closer to the date.



February 15, 1898 – The Battleship USS Maine Explodes in Cuba’s Havana Harbor, instigating the United States entering into war with Spain, marking the outbreak of the Spanish American War.

February 15, 1903 – The First Teddy Bear Goes on Sale. The inspiration for selling “Teddy” bears came from a hunting trip that President Theodore Roosevelt had made in Mississippi the previous year. Roosevelt’s hunting guides had captured and tied a bear to a tree. Theodore Roosevelt insisted that hunters be ethical and use fair-chase principles when hunting game. Instead of shooting it, he set the bear free.

February 16, 1968 – The First 9-1-1 Call Placed in The United States That first call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama. The second town that adopted the 911 system was Nome, Alaska. Originally it was not 911 but 9-11. The description of the number was quickly changed because some Americans could not find the number 11 on their telephone.

The 911 system is to help people particularly in medical emergencies. In criminal emergencies, there simply is no way for authorities to get there in time. You must learn to take care of yourself.

February 19, 1945 – Invasion of Iwo Jima Begins. Iwo Jima represented the longest pre-invasion bombardment during WWII. American B-24 and B-25 bombers continually bomb the island for 74 days before the invasion. The importance of Iwo Jima was it’s close proximity to Japan, so the U.S. could build landing strips for it’s B-29 bombers. From that point, the B-29 bombers would be flying at their maximum range of about 1500 miles. They had to fly 660 miles from Iwo Jima to reach Japan.

February 21, 1948 – The National Association for Stock Car Racing or NASCAR as it has become known, was officially incorporated, and has become a multi-billion-dollar sport. The first NASCAR dedicated track was the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. What gave NASCAR an immense jump-start was the season opener held at the Daytona 500 track when it was built in 1959. Today, there are millions of race fans around the world who follow NASCAR.

The Illinois State Rifle Association
is the home of marksmanship in Illinois. 
At the Range

Click here to view the entire calendar. All classes and events are open to the public & all range members, unless otherwise noted.  here

Our NRA Basic Pistol Class

Open to the public.­ Scheduled for March 24, 2024, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm., at the ISRA Range. Limited to 10 students. The cost is $75 (ISRA member) and $150 (non-me­­mber). Class covers instruction on firearm safety, rules, ammunition types, and proper instruction of semi-auto pistols and revolvers. Topics include firearm selection, shooting fundamentals, firearm maintenance and cleaning. Instructors: Mandi Ehler, Mike Cialdella & Jeff Marienthal. To register, contact ISRA Office at 815.635.3198 or mailto:

M1 Maintenance Class

We are glad to announce that we will have an M1 Maintenance Class scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the ISRA Range in Bonfield, IL. 

We have a highly qualified instructor, Larry Collinson, who has been with Springfield Armory for a long time. Mr. Collinson is an expert on the M1 Rifle. You will learn to take apart, clean, reassemble, and maintain your M1 Garand Rifle during this class. The class size is limited to 32 people. The cost is $65 (ISRA member) and $110 (non-member). Lunch will be provided. If you have special dietary needs, you will need to provide your own lunch. There will be no walk-ins allowed.

To register, contact the Office at 815.635.3198 and talk to Mel or Shirley. You can also e-mail them at or If you are interested in taking this class, it is filling up quickly, so please register soon.

Range Schedule This Week

2-20 – Air Gun Practice & League – Range 12 (Indoor Range) – 5:00-8:00

2-21 – F-Class Indoor League – Clubhouse/Range 12 – 10:00-2:00

2-21 – Air Rifle Practice & League – Range 12; Clubhouse – 11:00-3:00

The ISRA Range is located at 1589 N 7000w Rd, Bonfield, IL 60913.

The ISRA Range offers great classes and leagues
for shooting enthusiasts!
Interested in joining a league?
Just show up 15 – 30 minutes early.
Range memberships are available.
A day at the ISRA Range is always a  great day!

Thank you for being a member!


If you are not an ISRA member,  join today
Upcoming Meetings:
Upcoming Range Events:

Upcoming Gun Shows

While the gun show information shown in this email is believed to be correct – sometimes changes occur. This is provided for informational purposes only.

Feb 16 – 18   Tinley Park Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Show, Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park

Feb 17 – 18   Central Illinois Gun Collectors, Sangamon Co Fairgrounds, New Berlin,

Feb 24 – 25   Decatur Gun & Knife Show, Decatur Conference Center, Decatur

Mar 2 – 3   Belleville Gun & Knife Show, Belle-Clair Fairgrounds, Belleville

Mar 2 – 3   Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show, Kankakee Co. Fairgrounds, Kankakee

Mar 8 – 10   Illinois Deer Classic, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria

Mar 10   Kane County Sportsman’s Show, Kane County Fairgrounds, St. Charles

Mar 16 – 17   Peoria Gun & Knife Show, Exposition Gardens, Peoria

Mar 23 – 24   Springfield Gun Show, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield

Mar 23 – 24   Sauk Trail Gun Show, Bureau County Fairgrounds, Princeton

Download a Shareable Copy of the Bulletin

“Ninety-eight percent of the people in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”

Lily Tomlin

“The people who work against your gun rights are basically saying to you, “The right of the criminal to rip you off, rape and kill you shall not be infringed.” And they wonder why we’re a bit testy”

Editor of KABA LIBERTY ADVOCATE, Friday, July 30, 2001

“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”


“You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you’ll find me in a pile of brass.”

Tpr. M. Padgett

“Using inner city kids as your proof that guns and kids don’t mix, is like using an alcoholic to prove all people will abuse alcohol.”

Lori Broadhead

“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”

Ted Nugent

The said Constitution [shall] never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe or to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”

Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788

“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”

Thomas B. Reed (1886)

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776)

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution are courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution THEY don’t like.”

Alan Dershowitz

“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”

Sen. Larry Craig

“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”

Mikhail Kalashnikov, April 1997