by John Boch
The General Assembly has ended their Spring session so the onslaught of cray cray in new legislation has paused. That’s good news.
We expect things to start breaking loose in the next couple of months both in the FOID case and the PICA gun & magazine ban cases, just to name a few of many.
Obviously the federal challenges to JB Pritzker’s new gun ban have the potential to impact your life. Months ago, I thought we would have an easy win at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Boy, was I naïve.
For now at least, it all comes down to the three-judge panel we draw on the hearing for preliminary injunctive relief. If we get Frank Easterbrook and a couple of like-minded jurists like Diane Wood (I wouldn’t), we could be playing defense for months longer.
Todd Vandermyde and I spent some time on the phone on Father’s Day researching the Seventh Circuit and it’s evenly split between Constitutionalists and those who don’t have a lot of love for the Second Amendment. No doubt Kwame and Pritzker have done the same research too.
Bottom line: We’re going to be hip-deep in appeals for months – maybe even until next Spring in the US Supreme Court no matter who wins this next round.
Meanwhile the state case involving State Rep. Dan Caulkins at the Illinois State Supreme Court also has the potential to impact our lives very soon.
How so? Well, enforcement of the PICA gun and magazine ban has effectively been put on hold by the Macon County ruling from March. Sure, Kwame and JB Pritzker have pretty much ignored it or dismissed the Macon County ruling publicly, but behind the scenes no state police officer or public official is going to arrest someone for a law adjudicated unconstitutional.
That’s right: it wasn’t just benevolence that led the IDNR to publicly announce that people could still use an AR to hunt coyotes on public lands or semi-auto shotguns with long magazines to hunt geese. It’s because no cop was going to jam himself (or herself) up by making an arrest for violating a struck-down PICA gun ban.
All that will change when the Illinois Supreme Court reverses that lower-court decision. The kinder-gentler ISP will become much more aggressive unless we have a federal court injunction blocking enforcement for all.
In fact, without a federal injunction, I’d look for ISP to make some examples of a few of the shops that have sold banned guns since Jan. 10th and a few of those who purchased them.
Don’t let your FOID expire!
What else do my fellow gun owners have to worry about? Don’t let your FOID card expire. The COVID rules ended when Pritzker didn’t renew his final emergency decree. Now, you must have a valid FOID card in your possession to have guns and ammo legally.
If your FOID expires, expect to get a “firearms disposition form” in the mail demanding a list of your guns’ makes, models and serial numbers and what you did with them. If you don’t respond promptly, expect a “firearm enforcement team” to knock on your door to “bring you into compliance” by re-homing your guns.
Nobody wants that.
Got braced guns?
If you’ve got a braced pistol, the “grace” period to register them has closed. It looks like some Illinois residents are getting “disapproval” letters giving them 60 days to resubmit their Form 1 applications to include a copy of their C&R FFL licenses and their valid FOID cards. Other times, some of the same people are getting approvals for other guns. Why it’s almost like it depends on whether or not applicants get a gun-hater evaluating their Form 1 application or not.
For those who didn’t register their braced guns – and that’s most people – there are two things you need to do to protect yourself, your dog and your family.
To protect yourself from the feds (otherwise known as BATF), you need to become a member of the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition or Gun Owners of America. Preliminary injunctions from federal courts block ATF from enforcing Biden’s new rule against the members of these groups.
Don’t be an imprudent fool. If you get arrested with one of these guns, you’ll spent $20k-30k for a retainer for an attorney and you may still gain a felony conviction and prison time. You can avoid all that with a $20-30 membership.
On the state side, Illinois law requires anyone with a short-barreled rifle to have a Curios & Relics FFL. Those are $30 for three years and easier to apply for than a FOID card. Again, if you catch a state charge on this, expect to pay $20k-30k just for the retainer and you may still catch a felony. Or you can avoid all that with $30 for a C&R license.
Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid. Don’t be stupid.
No, I don’t see BATF coming to homes to do inspections/confiscations. However, if yours is stolen and you report it, or if you are subjected to an order of protection or Red Flag order, if police find it you could be arrested. Or if you have a car crash and cops inventory the car, all the sudden your life just got exciting.
Take a few minutes and spend a few bucks to stay legal.
IL Judicial Inquiry Board
By the way: Be sure to submit your complaint to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board over the two new Supreme Court Justices who received nearly $2M each towards their campaigns from three of the named defendants in Caulkins’ case. Those complaints are creating quite the poopstorm behind the scenes.
This is an opportunity for you as an individual to hold our betters fully accountable to the rule of law.