Our Decatur Regional Director Dave Randolph called the first GSL meeting in months to order at Coz’s Pizza in Decatur. We had a good crowd of fifty (cough cough, don’t want to violate the governor’s arbitrary orders).
Following the Pledge and recognition of veterans and first responders, John Boch offered his Executive Director’s Report.
Mr. Boch also also answered a number of questions from the audience, including one man who said the civil unrest and politicizing of prosecutions has caused him to want self-defense legal insurance. A very wise and prudent decision.
The incredible State Representative Dan Caulkins (pictured above in red) gave an update from the Illinois State Police. The ISP is buried with FOID applications, seeing five times the normal number of applications and they’ve had problems keeping up even in the best of times.
He related some info he received from the ISP. In the first 17 days of June, following the widespread riots and looting across Illinois, the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau unit attempted to process a 501% increase in FOID applications over the same period in 2019. Furthermore, firearms purchase background checks are taking about 73 business hours to complete, on average. The good news is that’s down from 94 hours the week before.
The ISP also said the staff at the Firearms Services Bureau are dedicated and working an average of ten hours overtime each week. Furthermore, the unit is hiring 30 additional staff members – roughly doubling the size of the unit – to help them catch up and stay current in the services they provide.
Caulkins wondered aloud how many Illinois residents simply bought a gun from a friend or from out of state in order to keep their homes safe while the ISP takes months and months to process FOID applications.
As for the State of Illinois, he noted how the Land of Lincoln is functionally broke. The budget had a $6B shortfall, and that happened before the fallout from COVID fully hits. We’ll know this fall just how bad things really are after the July 15th tax day.
Dan Cooley, the owner of The Bullet Trap in Macon discussed things from the industry side. He said his inventory is extremely depleted. Distributors are by and large in the same boat as well. Manufacturers report supply chain issues slowing their ability to replenish inventories.
Like guns, ammo is scarce at best. And then we’ve got the Illinois Attorney General proposing background checks for ammo sales. Because they’ve worked so well in California. (That’s sarcasm.)
Dan did say that he would sell ammo to people with expired FOID cards if they had proof of application for a renewal. Not every store will do that, he noted.
Main speaker Scott Rueter talked swords and sword-fighting. Yes, swords.
As an undergrad at Notre Dame, he joined the Notre Dame’s fencing team and they won the national championship that year (1978). He brought a number of different swords and showed them off, along with some smaller defensive “mini-swords” and even a shield (with a very big spike).
Someone mentioned something about a sword-owner’s ID card and we shouldn’t give the Illinois General Assembly any ideas.
Dan Cooley won the 50/50 drawing and donated the money back to GSL. God bless him.
And Bob Taft, clearly of Irish heritage given his winning streak of late, won the bronze Ruger Wrangler pistol (and wisely kept it for himself!)
We’ll be back next month with a Taurus Model 82 .38 Special revolver (modern production), and excellent affordable home-defense gun for someone new to shooting or who isn’t going to practice a lot. This one has a great trigger as well!