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ISRA Thursday Bulletin - February 6, 2020

by Richard Pearson

The agonizing long waits to get a FOID card have plagued Illinois citizens for some time.  The law required the Illinois State Police (ISP) to issue a FOID card in 30 days.  During the Rauner Administration the time was extended to 60 days.  Still the ISP kept falling further and further behind.  We have to remember that a right delayed is a right denied.  This is a terrible situation that should have never happened and did not need to happen.  The ISRA, SAF and other plaintiffs are in court to rectify this situation.  This case is known as Thomas, et.al. v. Illinois State Police, et.al.

In the Spring of 2019, the ISRA, with the help of State Representative Keith Wheeler, began an investigation into what was going on.  In September 2019 the reports were completed.  What we discovered was $29,500,000, had been swept from the various State Police funds that were supposed to be used to improve the issuing of the FOID card and Illinois Conceal Carry licenses.  Instead they were swept into the notorious “Black Hole” known as the General Fund.

In the Spring 2019 Session, there were calls for FOID cards to be raised to $300-$400 per person.  The complaint the ISP had was that they did not get enough money to do background checks, purchase equipment, and hire personnel to do the job efficiently and in a timely manner.  We now know this is not true and completely unnecessary.  As we all now know, the money was there but it was swept away.  The money that was there which was FOID card fees and ICCL license fees (remember, this was not tax money) came from the people it was meant to serve but instead, it was tossed down a rat hole.

The Governor does have the power to sweep funds but the people in charge of the funds have a right to protect and ask that these funds not be swept.  This apparently was never done.  Both Governor Quinn and Governor Rauner swept the funds.  At this time, Governor Pritzker has not swept any funds of the State Police.  The funds are there to make sure law-abiding citizens can exercise their Constitutional Second Amendment rights.  Instead it was used to deny the Second Amendment rights of the citizens.  Regarding the FOID, you couldn’t purchase a firearm or ammunition without the FOID card.  In the case of the delayed ICCLs, the ISP said you were okay to carry, but some local jurisdictions arrested concealed carry holders anyway. 

The ISRA and the SAF (Second Amendment Foundation) have asked for a writ of certiorari in seeking a review of the Culp v Raoul case.  There are already eighteen State Attorneys General who have filed amicus briefs in support of our case.  This case challenges the refusal by the State of Illinois to take applications from non-residents who wish to apply for Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses.

These are yet more examples of how the ISRA fights for you.  I am asking everyone to forward this email and ISRA Facebook posts to everyone you know.  I am asking all who read this to JOIN the ISRA if you are not members.  You may also make a donation to the Legal Assistance Committee.

A new bill introduced by Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) would tax assault weapons and high capacity magazines at a rate of 10% of their retail price.  This bill, SB 2468, would create a Firearms Tax Fund.  The money is supposed to go to prevent gun violence in schools and state-owned buildings.  More likely, it will be used against law-abiding gun owners to make their life tougher.  Criminals, of course, won’t pay the tax.  Keep an eye on this bill and Senator Gillespie.

One of the duties of the Illinois State Rifle Association is to provide top quality marksmanship training to qualified U.S. citizens.  I am pleased to announce the ISRA will host a Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) for rifle, taught by the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).  Only three or four of these classes are offered per year throughout the United States.  The dates will be September 26th and 27th, 2020 at our ISRA Range near Kankakee.  Please save the dates.  Sign up will be through the Civilian Marksmanship Program.  We will notify you when registration opens.  This class will be using electronic targets and is limited to 90 people.   

The ISRA and Spartan Tactical Training Group are working on a course designed to train volunteers in security for houses of worship.  This will be a three-day class and will include live fire and will be held at our ISRA Range.  I will have more details in a few weeks.

The ISRA launched the ISRA Credit Card program, in partnership with Services Credit Union (SCU), on February 1st.  If you are an ISRA member, take advantage of a credit card that supports the ISRA!

We will be at the Bloomington Gun & Knife Show on Saturday, February 22nd and will be giving legislative updates at 10:00am and 2:00pm.  Come see us!

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) is April 1st!  Come and join us in the march to defend your gun rights.  

Thanks for being a member.

Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit www.isra.org

ISRA Air Rifle League
Tuesdays – 8:00-5:00

ISRA International Air Pistol League
Every other Wednesday – 8:00-5:00

Gun & Trade Shows

Crown Point Gun Show
Lake County Fairgrounds – Crown Point, IN
Dates: February 8 & 9, 2020
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $5.00

Kane County Sportsman’s Show 
Kane County Fairgrounds - St Charles, IL
Date: February 9, 2020
Hours: Sunday: 7:30-1:30
Admission: $7.00

Regional Firearms Auction
Rock Island Auction Company – Rock Island, IL
Dates: February 13-16, 2020

New Berlin Gun Show
Sangamon County Fairgrounds – New Berlin, IL
Dates: February 15 & 16, 2020
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-4:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $5.00

McHenry County Gun Show
McHenry County Fairgrounds – Woodstock, IL
Date: February 16, 2020
Hours: Sunday: 8:00-1:00
Admission: $5.00

Bloomington Gun & Knife Show
Interstate Center – Bloomington, IL
Dates: February 22 & 23, 2020
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $6.00

Diamond Gun & Sportsman’s Show
Diamond Banquet Hall – Diamond, IL
Dates: February 22 & 23, 2020
Hours: Saturday: 8:00-3:00
           Sunday: 8:00-2:00
Admission: $5.00

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