We dealt with well over 100 gun bills during the 2017 Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly. On virtually all of these gun bills, the excuse is to prevent crime, but they are really aimed at the law abiding gun owners. The anti-gunners have the idea that, if they discourage the law-abiding gun owners. The anti-gunners have the idea that, if they discourage the law-abiding gun owners and want-to-be gun owners enough, they will give up on the idea of purchasing firearms. One of these ideas is to make firearms as expensive as possible through red tape and other requirements. Other ideas are: outright bans, registration schemes, continuous reporting requirements, storage requirements, waiting periods, and public humiliation. Each anti-gun bill represents one domino, to fall on the next domino, and so on. Pass one anti-gun bill and others will follow, one by one.
The wall protecting the Second Amendment and the rights of law abiding gun owners is like a matrix of stones in a fortress wall. Instead of actual stones, the wall is a political wall made up of individual gun owners and their interests. The wall is made up of hunters of all kinds, target shooters, competitors, plinkers, collectors, self-defense advocates, gun dealers, gun clubs, hunt clubs, manufacturers and the gun media. The mortar holding this wall together is the trust, cooperation and the faith the individuals and groups have in each other. Without this wall and the mortar holding it together, there would be no Second Amendment in Illinois, or anywhere else for that matter. Nearly thirty years ago, the Gun Rights Policy Conference adopted a resolution known as the “Farmer Doctrine,” named for its author Linda Farmer. The Farmer Doctrine states that an attack on one firearm group or class of firearms is an attack on all firearms groups of glasses of firearms – a mutual defense pact.
In the Spring Session of the 2017 General Assembly there, once again, was a push for various anti-gun legislation. It is often said that laws and sausage have something in common: no matter how much one may like the final result, you don’t want to see either being made.
The last few weeks of the legislative session is a frenzy. It looks calm on the surface, but it is boiling underneath. It seems quiet, but the late nights in the staff offices betray the calm daytime activities. Situations change quickly. I remember changing a position on a bill five times in a few hours as amendments were proposed or fell away. You have to be there to understand the pressure and chaos.
In the end, with much hard work, things worked out. One by one, these anti-gun bills were stopped – at least for now. This is the situation with SB 1657, the proposed Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Act. While the bill technically remains on the legislative calendar, by everybody’s accounting SB 1657 is now dead. There is insufficient legislative support to pass the bill, and the Governor has publically indicated his opposition as well. This positive outcome is the result of many players, including ISRA, NRA, legislative champions on both sides of the aisle, and Illinois gun manufacturers, most particularly Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory.
To help keep our political wall strong, Rock River Arms, Springfield Armory, and L.W. Schneider are hosting legislative tours of their plants in partnership with ISRA, NRA and NSSF. ISRA and NRA have coordinated legislative shooting events this summer. Dealers are becoming organized. Each stone in our political wall is doing its part in a coordinated fashion, which is needed to confront the inevitable challenges that will be initiated by the anti-gunners in the future.
Thanks for being a member.
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Thursday, July 20, 2017
ISRA Smallbore/Rimfire F-Class Thursday Night League
Saturday and Sunday, July 22 & 23, 2017
IL CCW Class
Sunday, July 23, 2017
ISRA Bullseye Match
Springfield Armory Pistol Match
Law Weapons Customer Appreciation Day
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
ISRA Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
ISRA Benchrest League