Last weekend, newspapers in Illinois were filled with articles about the Chicago gun trace report. As in the past a few years, Chicago area gun dealers were singled out because they had a high proportion of the gun traces. There are a couple of things I would like to point out about gun traces. First, those stores have never been charged with any wrong doing. Every person who bought a gun at those stores passed the background check and went through the waiting period. Gun stores in Illinois and across the United States are heavily regulated. Typically, the anti-gunners seem to blame the stores for the gun traces. There are many reasons a gun is traced. It may have been reported missing or been found on a person who should not have had it. The other point is the same gun may be traced more than one time for the same gun. If ten police agencies were involved in an investigation, they may have all traced the same gun. Therefore, you have ten traces even though it was one gun. Trace data does not tell law enforcement if a gun has been previously traced. I was told by one shop owner that he had the same gun traced twenty-five times. Some think that a particular gun store may be targeted and the same gun is traced and retraced just to run up their trace numbers.
We are always hearing about the number of traces and the number of guns picked up. But have you ever noticed we don't ever seem to hear very much about what happened to those people who were arrested? Last week, we were fighting HB4117 which, if passed, would give you a class 2 felony simply by having a gun a trigger job on your gun, or a variety of their things that would make your gun shoot better and faster. If you or I could get a class 2 felony (3 to 7 years) for that, what in the world are the really bad guys getting, do you suppose? I have not seen any billboards saying this guy or that guy got 7 years in prison for being a felon with a gun, have you?
Maybe this is why. Let's take the case of Simone Mousheh. Simone Mousheh was arrested in 2016 for selling two of the four guns she had purchased to a gang member with no FOID and a domestic battery conviction. Selling to a person with no FOID card is a class 4 felony (1-3 years). The straw purchase is a class 2 felony (3-7 years). Simone received 13 months’ probation and 15 days in the Sheriffs Work Alternative Program, hardly a slap on the wrist; more like a hug and a cookie from grandma. I'm sure there are many more cases like this. Gun owners have complained for years there is no real punishment for gun criminals - this is just one example.
So what is this all about? All the articles about trace data always seem to come just before another push for gun control. The media is acting as the Navy, softening up the legislative beach before the anti-gun crowd launches their latest attack. The stage is set for a renewed effort to pass SB1657, the so-called Gun Dealer Licensing Bill. SB1657 is a draconian bill with just one thing in mind - to drive gun dealers out of business.
Next week, the second Veto Session begins on Tuesday, November 7th and will continue through Thursday, November 9th. We are expecting to see activity on SB1657 (Dealer Licensing bill), as well as SB333, which is a trailer bill associated with SB1657. Be prepared to take action when ISRA legislative alerts go out. Your calls, emails and voice do make a difference!
Just so you know, we are not supposed to talk about the drug-fueled gangs that drive the murder rate up in Chicago, or the 49% dropout rate in Chicago public schools, or the fact that the city is taxing businesses so heavily that they are moving out of Illinois and Chicago, or that some of the kids who do graduate from the public school can barely read and write, so we won't. I won't tell if you don't.
For those ISRA members needing assistance applying for a FOID card, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Saturday, November 4, 2017
Range Work Day
Carbine Fundamentals and Safety Training
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Introduction to Firearms
Black Powder League
Combat Pistol League/3 Gun/CCW Scenario
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Introduction to CAR
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
ISRA Wednesday Night Air Gun League
ISRA 10 Meter International Air Pistol League