Reports on the Illinois deer harvest show a 12% drop in the number of deer taken so far. There is an antlerless season in January but the major numbers are in and shouldn’t affect the totals too much. So far in 2021, a total of 71,675 deer have been harvested. In 2020, the total was 77,160. In 82 of the 100 counties where deer are hunted, it shows a drop in numbers. Randolph County led the way in number of deer taken with 2,162, and Adams County following with 2,042. Pike County slipped to seventh this year. A warm second season and a full moon aided in keeping the numbers down.
Like many of you, I keep my firearms in a gun safe. My first gun safe, which I still have, came with a combination lock. As I got older, those little lines on the dial became smaller and smaller and soon my arms became too short to turn the dial. I replaced the lock with an electronic lock.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to open the safe and it would not open. The batteries were dead. I replaced the batteries with new famous name batteries. The safe did not open. I put two more brand new batteries in the safe and it still did not open. I grimly came to the conclusion that the electronic lock had gone bad. Drilling a safe is an expensive, time-consuming process. All modern well-known gun safes are heavy duty, drill resistant and tough to get into. This particular safe was a Browning Pro Steel. When I had the electronic lock installed, I had my locksmith check the mechanism and he commented that he hoped he would never have to drill this safe. When the locksmith came, he took the electronic lock off and checked it. Everything was in order. He took out two of the brand-new batteries I had put in and replaced them with two Duracell Pro Cell 9-volt batteries that he had brought with him. He entered the combination and the safe opened immediately. It turns out that all 9-volt batteries are not created equal. The locksmiths had also had problems with batteries so the locksmith’s organizations tested dozens of them. Most do not produce 9 volts. Ok for a smoke detector maybe, but not a gun safe. The most reliable batteries are Duracell Pro Cells according to their tests. Duracell Pro Cell batteries are not standard Duracell batteries. Some specialty battery stores carry them or you can order them online. The worst part of this is I knew about Duracell Pro Cells but the store where I usually purchased them closed and I got lazy. It cost me.
In a few weeks the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT SHOW) will open in Las Vegas. It is a little hard at this point to get an idea of the attendance, although there are already 2,400 exhibitors signed up for the show. There has not been a SHOT SHOW for two years so there is pent up demand for sure. The problem is the COVID-19 and its variants and the effect on the airlines. The holidays have shown what a mess traveling has become. I will be making reports from the SHOT SHOW on new and improved products as I find them. Remember, many things introduced there will not reach dealer shelves for months.
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to go back into session on January 4, 2022. The Spring Session in in disarray because of the unsettled General Assembly districts and Congressional Districts. I got my new voter registration card in the mail and all those districts have “To Be Determined” printed where the numbers should be. Hopefully, the stores in the Springfield area have a good supply of headache medicine on hand. I expect cancellations of sessions in January and February.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCKRBA) et al. have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States to challenge Maryland’s ban of modern sporting rifles. They are also called “Assault Weapons” by the anti-gun crowd and the liberal media. There is no such thing as an assault weapon. The term “assault weapon” is a political term made up by the Violence Policy Center in 1988 to stampede the public into supporting restrictive gun laws. I was a “green as grass” lobbyist at the time and remember it well.
There are so called “assault weapon” laws on the books in many parts of the country including Illinois. Should the Supreme Court strike down the Maryland law, it would become the law of the land and apply to every jurisdiction. It would also fracture the anti-gun movement in the United States.
Many FOID card holders have received or will receive a notice of a Class Action lawsuit filed against Gary Hacker, Chief of the Firearm Service Bureau and Michael W Frerichs, Treasurer of the State of Illinois. The suit alleges the State set the charge of the FOID card at $10.00. The State charges an extra fifty cents for an electronic check and a dollar if you use a credit card. The suit asks the Defendants to provide a system which no fee is charged for an electronic check. I have received several calls on this lawsuit. First, let me point out that you as an individual are not responsible for any fees. The second, what do you have to do? The answer is absolutely nothing. Ignore it.
Effective January 1, 2022, the changes in the FOID and ICCL Acts will be in effect:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 27, 2021 - Contact: ISP Public Information Office
ISP ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO FOID AND CCL ACTS
Springfield, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) is announcing several changes to the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Card program based on statutory changes to the FOID Act effective Jan. 1, 2022.
New Cards - As FOID cards are replaced, new cards will be printed without expiration dates. Whenever a new FOID card is issued, if the cardholder has a valid Conceal Carry License (CCL), the cardholder will be issued a combined FOID and CCL card.
When a FOID Card is suspended and the cardholder has a CCL, the CCL will be suspended until the FOID Card is reinstated. Upon reinstatement of the FOID Card, if eligible, the CCL will be reinstated as well.
When a CCL is suspended or revoked but the person is still eligible to possess a FOID card, they will retain the issued combined card, but it will not show a valid CCL in the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS).
Auto Renewal - When a FOID Card expires during the term of a CCL, the FOID Card will be automatically renewed without paying a renewal fee and the licensee will be sent a new combined FOID Card and CCL. As described above, these combined cards will not have an issuance or expiration date printed on the face of the card and will serve as both the cardholder’s FOID and CCL.
ADD ONE/UPDATE TO FOID_CCL ACT
“The Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau is working diligently to ensure the statutory changes to the FOID Act will benefit the people of Illinois,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “We are pleased by the fact that this will decrease duplicity within the FOID and CCL program which will in turn save time and money for both applicants and taxpayers,” he concluded.
December 30, 1853 - The Southern Border between the United States and Mexico is established. The U. S. Minister to Mexico, James Gadsden, purchased about 30,000 square miles from Mexico. This is known as the Gadsden Purchase and became part of New Mexico and Arizona. This purchase was urged by those building the transcontinental railroad.
December 30, 1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) is formed. The U.S.S.R. became a world super power rivaling that of the United States. In 1991, it collapsed and was dissolved. The Russian Federation took its place.
December 31, 1879 - The “Wizard of Menlo Park” lights up the street with the first incandescent street lights. Thomas Edison (The Wizard) was born in Ohio in 1847. He had little formal education and became partially deaf as a child but it didn’t stop him. In 1869, he devoted his time to inventing and in 1876 he opened a machine shop and laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Edison died in 1931 at the age of 84. He held 1093 patents by the time of his death.
January 1, 45 BC - The Julian Calendar is adopted.
January 1, 1962 - The U.S. Navy SEALS are formed.
January 1, 2022 - Happy New Year!
January 1, 1863 - Farmer, Daniel Freeman, files the first claim under the Homestead Act. Abraham Lincoln had signed the act in 1862. The claims started out for 160 acres but were later Increased to 640 acres.
January 3, 1777 - George Washington and his 5000 men army made up of Continental Soldiers and Militia defeat Cornwallis and his 8000 regulars at the Battle of Princeton. The Patriots lost 40 men and the British lost 275. Before Cornwallis could counter attack George Washington and his army, they slipped away. The was a bit of brilliant generalship. When word spread throughout the colonies, it gave new hope to all Americans.
January 4, 1847 - Samuel Colt sells 1000 Colt .44 caliber revolvers to the United States Army.
January 5, 1933 - Construction begins of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge became the symbol of San Francisco. The bridge opened on May 27, 1937. On the first day, 200,000 people crossed the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge also became a symbol of home to troops returning from WWII.
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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org
Saturday, January 1, 2022
Range Work Day
Tuesday, January 4 & 11, 2022
Tuesday Night Air Rifle League (5:00-8:00)
Tuesday Afternoon Air Gun League (1:00-5:00)
Saturday, January 8 & 9, 2022
Triple Threat Defense CCL Class
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Air Pistol League
Winter Wars XVIII
Gun & Trade Shows
Kane County Sportsman’s Show – St Charles, IL
Kane County Fairgrounds
Date: January 9, 2022
Hours: Sunday: 7:30-1:30
Crown Point Gun Show – Crown Point, IN
Lake County Fairgrounds
Dates: January 22 & 23, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show – Kankakee, IL
Kankakee County Fairgrounds
Dates: January 22 & 23, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 8:00-3:00
Westville Gun Show – Westville, IL
Direside Event Space
Dates: January 29 & 30, 2022
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-4:00