Richard Pearson

Illinois State Rifle Association: ‘Good Riddance’ Barack Obama

A January 20 press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association (“dedicated to education, safety training and support of Illinois firearm owners”) is making the rounds on the Internet. Executive Director Richard Pearson penned:

ISRA: Goodbye Barack… Hello Donald

“About eight years ago, I penned a letter to gun owners nationwide about my experiences lobbying Barack Obama when he was an Illinois State Senator. Among the adjectives, I used to describe Senator Obama were arrogant, rude, self-righteous, indignant and aloof. I warned gun owners that an Obama presidency would cast the darkest of days upon supporters of our Second Amendment. I advised gun owners that the only hope for preserving gun rights would be a sustained pushback against Obama’s attempts to obliterate civilian firearm ownership.

There was never any doubt in my mind that Obama would seek to crush the Second Amendment. Obama entered office with the very firm intention of satisfying the globalist ideal of knocking America down a couple of pegs. Thus, in no time at all, President Obama attacked two great American icons – General Motors and our superlative health care system. Next on his plate was an assault on the uniquely American sense of rugged individualism. As we all know, self-reliance is predicated upon the existence of the Second Amendment. Plain and simple – without a Second Amendment, individualism is just a fantasy. Yes, early in his tenure, Barack Obama was achieving his objective of making America more like the rest of the world rather than encouraging the rest of the world to be more like us.

When Obama charged headlong into the gun control fray, he was met with stubborn and determined opposition from everyday gun owners. We fought him in Congress. We fought him in the federal courts. We fought him in the court of public opinion. In the end, the good guys won and the promise of a nation-wide version of Chicago-style gun control faded into irrelevance. For that, gun owners owe themselves a hearty pat on the back.

Now enters Donald Trump- President Donald Trump. Trump has made a lot of promises to gun owners and I hope he keeps them. Copious promises notwithstanding, the nation’s gun owners must remain mobilized and prepared to fight the gun control movement whether the battle is at the national, state, or local level. The fight for gun rights is not over and will never be over.

In closing, I’d like to bid Barack Obama “good riddance,” and wish President Trump well in the monumental job he is about to undertake.”

The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.

For more information about the Illinois State Rifle Association, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois ‘Gun Dealer Licensing Act’ Shot Down

“House Bill 1016, or the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, could make the process of buying guns in Illinois even harder. Under the new regulations, gun shop owners would have to apply for an additional state license on top of the ones they’re already required to get from Illinois and the Federal Government. It’s got local gun shop owners and their customers concerned…”

-WSIL-TV 3 (Southern Illinois ABC affiliate), May 25, 2016

The Illinois “Gun Dealer Licensing Act” is dead.

For now at least.

From a press release on the Illinois State Rifle Association website today:

6/1/2016

OBNOXIOUS EFFORT TO BAN GUN SHOPS TURNED BACK IN ILLINOIS
CONTACT: Richard Pearson, Illinois State Rifle Association, (815) 635-3198
WEB SITE: http://www.isra.org

SPRINGFIELD, IL– The following was released today by Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director, Richard Pearson:

“Hard work and a good dose of civic pride prevailed this week as a divisive and punitive piece of gun control legislation was hammered to death in the Illinois House. By way of thousands of phone calls, emails, and witness slip filings, the Illinois General Assembly got the message that Illinoisans do not want some hate-filled outsider telling them what guns they can buy and where they can buy them.”

“Earlier this spring, former astronaut Mark Kelly rolled into town trumpeting his ‘Gun Dealer Licensing Act’ as the sure-fire cure for Chicago’s violent crime epidemic. In reality, Kelly’s proposal was nothing more than a transparent attempt to put lawful firearm retailers out of business.”

“If enacted, Kelly’s bill would result in jumps in retail prices of firearms by $100 or more along with doubling the price of a box of ammunition. Kelly’s bill would foist an unbearable regulatory burden on lawful firearm retailers which would cause many, if not most to close their doors. The good people of Illinois saw right through Kelly’s scheme and responded swiftly – making it abundantly clear that they’d have nothing of it. So, at the stroke of midnight, the ‘Gun Dealer Licensing Act’ became nothing but a fireball streaking across the stratosphere over Springfield.”

“Kelly’s campaign against the Second Amendment is driven by his hatred of citizens who dare to own firearms. Thus, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act proposal was nothing more than a thinly-veiled effort to punish lawful gun owners. Kelly and his ilk have promised to bring the bill back next session. We really wish that Kelly and his pals would not come back – we’re sick of looking at him. On behalf of the citizens of Illinois, I’m asking Kelly to abort reentry, return to low-earth orbit, and stay there.”

“If the gun control movement is really serious about reducing violent crime, they will turn their attention away from closing lawful gun shops and towards the root of violent crime – the career criminal. The Chicago Police Department’s own figures indicate that nearly 90% of murderers have previous criminal records while, at the same time, three-quarters of murder victims have previous convictions as well. If the corrections authorities cannot rehabilitate violent criminals, then they need to keep them behind bars. It’s that simple. So my message to Kelly and his buddies in the gun control movement is to get with the program, or get out of town.”

For more information about the ISRA, head on over to their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Illinois State Rifle Association Blasts Gun ‘Control’ Supporters In Crain’s Opinion Piece

“A group of civil rights activists on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against three Chicago suburbs to force them to take stricter gun-control measures to stem the flow of weapons into the city’s crime-ridden neighborhoods…”

-Reuters, July 7, 2015

I just got finished reading an opinion piece this morning on the Crain’s Chicago Business website that was written by Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. Pearson and the ISRA threw down the gauntlet at gun “control” supporters in Chicago and elsewhere in the state who keep pushing for more restrictive laws, despite the fact that criminals- as the term suggests- don’t follow such laws when they need to get their hands on a firearm. Instead, law-abiding Illinoisans and their ability to effectively defend themselves against the bad guys are impacted. Pearson suggested gun “control” advocates turn their focus to “crime control” instead.

A sensible recommendation, especially when you consider Chicago was recently ranked dead last in federal prosecution of gun crimes and it’s routinely-reported in the local news these days that yet another criminal found guilty of a firearm-related crime went on to commit more of the same.

Pearson wrote:

Like all people of good conscience, Illinois’ lawful firearm owners abhor the violence taking place in our communities. After all, we and our families live here too. That being said, we are not going to accept the role of scapegoat for failed social policies. We will not accept a brand of politics that prefers to heap rules on people who follow rules rather than holding those who do not follow the rules accountable. We never will agree that gun control is an acceptable substitute for crime control…

It’s a good read, which you can view in its entirety over on the Crain’s website here.

For more information about the Illinois State Rifle Association, you can visit their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago-Area Democrats Push To Expand ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Throughout Illinois

After a federal court upheld an “assault weapons” ban by the City of Highland Park, gun “control” supporters in Chicago’s far north suburbs are trying to expand the ban on these military-pattern semi-automatic rifles throughout the state of Illinois- under the guise of “local control.” Deb McCarver reported on the Illinois Senate Democrats website Tuesday:

In response to a recent federal court ruling in support of Highland Park’s assault weapons ban, state Senator Julie Morrison introduced a measure to restore the right to ban assault weapons to every city and village in the state.

“This is about local control,” the Deerfield Democrat said. “Highland Park decided to protect its citizens by banning assault weapons. Every other city and village in Illinois should have that same right.”

The highly controversial 2013 law that allowed Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons also prohibited local governments from banning assault weapons…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to the “synopsis” of Illinois Senate Bill 2130:

the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Deletes provision that the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Deletes provision that any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with the Act, shall be invalid unless the ordinance or regulation is enacted on, before, or within 10 days after the effective date of Public Act 98-63 (July 9, 2013). Deletes provision that any ordinance or regulation described in the stricken provision enacted more than 10 days after the effective date of Public Act 98-63 is invalid. Effective immediately…

This Tuesday I noted something Robert McCoppin reported on the Chicago Tribune website April 28. From his piece:

A federal court Monday upheld Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons — possibly setting the stage for a showdown over the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court…

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said he was confident the law could be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, but the National Rifle Association would have to decide whether to make a costly appeal.

“The Second Amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms,” Pearson said. “The government doesn’t get to pick the list.”

After Senator Morrison’s action- supported by Highland Park Mayor and Democratic candidate for Congress (10th Congressional District) Nancy Rotering (as evidenced later on in that McCarver piece)- don’t be surprised if an appeal is now launched by pro-gun rights forces- costs be damned.

As for Highland Park, which is making a strong bid for wrestling away the title of “Ground Zero for Gun ‘Control’” from Oak Park, Illinois, these days, I suspect they could be on the hook for some astronomical legal fees after all is said and done.

You can track the status of SB2130 on the Illinois General Assembly website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

McCarver, Deb. “Morrison: Illinois should let cities ban assault weapons.” Illinois Senate Democrats. 5 May 2015. (http://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/index.php?option=com_tag&task=tag&tag=sb2130). 7 May 2015.

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Highland Park, Illinois, ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Latest

Back on December 23, 2013, I blogged about the City of Highland Park on Chicago’s far North Shore passing an ordinance banning “assault weapons” within its city-limits at a June city council meeting.

Subsequently, the Illinois municipality was sued for its “assault weapons” ban.

Last week, a federal court rendered a decision on the lawsuit. From the website of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action on May 1:

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on Monday allowing a Chicago-area gun and magazine ban to stand. Such bans are justifiable, according to the court, merely on the basis that they “may increase the public’s sense of safety.”

The case, Friedman v. Highland Park, was filed in 2013, and sought to invalidate a city ordinance that banned “assault weapons or large capacity magazines (those that can accept more than ten rounds).” Highland Park was one of several Chicago suburbs that hastily enacted municipal ordinances regulating or banning the possession of “assault weapons” before the state’s 2013 concealed carry law preempted home-rule authority to do so.

This week, in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel upheld the ban. According to the majority opinion, “A ban on assault weapons won’t eliminate gun violence in Highland Park, but it may reduce overall dangerousness of crime that does occur ….” Remarkably, the majority went on to suggest that even if the ban’s incursion on Second Amendment rights had no beneficial effect on safety whatsoever, it could still be justified on the basis of the false sense of security it might impart to local residents. “[I]f it has no other effect,” the majority wrote, “Highland Park’s ordinance may increase the public’s sense of safety. Mass shootings are rare, but they are highly salient, and people tend to overestimate the likelihood of salient events.”

The majority acknowledged that “assault weapons” can be beneficial for self-defense because they are lighter and more accurate than alternative options and can be wielded more effectively by householders. Yet they quickly threw their own logic aside to reassert the city’s interest in reducing perceived risk over the tangible benefits that that modern firearms provide to their owners. “If a ban on semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that’s a substantial benefit,” the opinion argued.

Judge Daniel Anthony Manion dissented from the majority opinion. Manion forcefully and persuasively argued that the ruling opinion is “at odds with the central holdings in Heller and McDonald: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.”

He went on to press the point that only individuals “make the ultimate decision for what constitutes the most effective means of defending one’s home, family, and property.” In stark contrast to the majority, Judge Manion was willing to recognize the constitutional dimensions that individual choice makes in the Second Amendment realm, just as it does with other fundamental rights. “Ultimately, it is up to the lawful gun owner and not the government to decide these matters,” he wrote.

Judge Manion’s reminder that when it comes to our fundamental rights, “The government recognizes these rights; it does not confer them,” cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, his colleagues refused to uphold their duty to recognize either the right at stake or Highland Park’s violation of it. Rest assured, however, that your NRA will continue the fight to see that injustice corrected.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Robert McCoppin reported on the Chicago Tribune website on April 28:

A federal court Monday upheld Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons — possibly setting the stage for a showdown over the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court…

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said he was confident the law could be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, but the National Rifle Association would have to decide whether to make a costly appeal.

“The Second Amendment is about the right to keep and bear arms,” Pearson said. “The government doesn’t get to pick the list.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Permission to reproduce this piece granted by the NRA-ILA)

Source:

McCoppin, Robert. “Appeals court upholds Highland Park assault weapons ban.” Chicago Tribune. 28 Apr. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/chi-assault-weapons-ban-highland-park-20150427-story.html). 5 May 2015.

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Illinois Gun Owners Descend On State Capital To Lobby Lawmakers

Yesterday was Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) down in Springfield. Nick Swedberg of the Associated Press reported last night:

Gun owners from across the state flooded the Illinois Capitol on Wednesday for an annual rally, and many spoke with lawmakers from their home districts about legislation to broaden gun rights…

I’ve blogged about this annual gun rights event before. From the Illinois State Rifle Association website:

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) was started back in the early ‘90’s to put a face on Illinois gun owners. Up until that time the media had portrayed gun owners and those who believed in the Second Amendment as some knuckle dragging Neanderthal throw backs, barely worthy of being called humans. IGOLD helped change that although the mainstream media still labels gun owners that way, when they can get away with it.

The first ISRA Lobby Day was attended by about 200 people. Among those attending were four undercover policemen. In 2006, the ISRA joined with several other groups and ISRA Lobby Day became Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD). The Illinois Gun Owners’ Lobby Day (IGOLD) has become the number one demonstration of citizens promoting gun owners’ rights in the United States – the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) is its primary sponsor. The crowds have grown each year. In 2013, 8200 gun owners showed up to lobby their legislators and to become the face of all the gun owners in Illinois. Because of IGOLD and other ISRA activities, gun owners have increased in stature in Illinois…

I understand that this year IGOLD pushed for expanding gun rights in the state- particularly concealed-carry. Swedberg added:

Proposed legislation in the General Assembly would allow concealed carry in places prohibited under current law, such as bus stations, churches and bars…

The state’s top gun rights advocacy group is expected to meet with [Illinois Governor Bruce] Rauner this month, a meeting that previous Democratic governors only promised to have. The organization’s executive director said that’s a positive sign that the new administration will be more favorable to their cause than the last.

“It’s hard to deal with people who just shut you out,” Richard Pearson, head of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said.

Illinois gun owners should be grateful for ISRA and IGOLD. Because when the next mass shooting along the lines of Newtown comes along, their keeping the spotlight on gun rights will remind politicians across the “Land of Lincoln” they’ll have a battle on their hands attempting to implement knee-jerk ineffective and unconstitutional gun “control” laws.

For more information about the Illinois State Rifle Association, visit their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Swedberg, Nick. “Gun owners rally for right to carry guns in more places.” Associated Press. 18 Mar. 2015. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-gun-rights-st-0319-20150318-story.html). 19 Mar. 2015.

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Illinois Concealed-Carry Latest

“[Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry] McCarthy, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the law allowing Illinois residents to carry concealed firearms in public, warned there will be confrontations that could escalate into a deadly shooting- similar to January, when a retired police officer shot and killed a man who had been using his cell phones during the previews at a movie theater; or when a Florida man shot four teens- killing one- during an argument over loud rap music in 2012.

“There are going to be confrontation situations. We’re hearing stories across the country about people getting shot over ‘thug music,’ right? Or somebody throwing popcorn in a movie theater,” he said. “These things are going to come, as sure as we’re standing here.”

He said deadly shootings involving people supposedly acting in self-defense will be seen in Illinois now that residents can carry guns in public.

“Stand by and watch what happens. The answer to gun violence is not more guns,” McCarthy said…”

-CBS2 Chicago website, March 4, 2014

Now that the first year of Illinois concealed-carry has wrapped up, I thought I’d blog a bit about where it stands at the present time.

First things first. No “rivers of blood” from CCW permit holders ran through the streets of the state. And the “Land of Lincoln” did not become the “Wild West.”

So much for that nonsense from the gun “control” crowd. Gives you an idea of how little they view Illinoisans.

Second, Illinois residents have turned out in droves for the new Illinois Concealed Carry License. On January 2 I blogged:

From Illinois State Rifle Association executive director Richard Pearson in his “Director’s Message” for January 2015:

Last week I learned there were over 102,000 concealed carry licenses that had been applied for (we made the 100,000 goal for applications the first year).

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Third, concealed-carry permits are still in high demand- at least in some areas of the state. Craig Choate reported on the WSIL-TV (ABC Southern Illinois) website on January 2:

One year ago, Illinois became the final state in the country to approve concealed weapons. Since then, thousands applied for, and got those permits. Now with Ferguson, Missouri still fresh in people’s minds, applications have spiked again.

Demand for the permits has not slowed down for the 16 hour course that goes with it. Those close to the issue, say demand keeps rising.

Retired state trooper Steve Sweeney says the flood of gun permit applications didn’t surprise him a bit. He teaches the conceal carry course at Wright’s in Pinckneyville, and says crime stories in the news always bring a rush of new students.

“The initial rush, everybody wanted it immediately, then there was a lull and it tapered off, and now it’s back, the phone’s ringing off the wall, things like Ferguson will prompt people to go out and get their training.” said Sweeney.

Gun store owners say every time Illinois issues a new permit, they get a new customer said Hicks Trading Station owner Kevin Hicks, “It’s probably increased the concealed carry styled guns, both semi-automatics and revolvers, probably 40-50 percent over what they would have been without the concealed carry law.”

According to one Illinois media outlet, the number of concealed-carry permits applied for last year actually fell significantly short of what state law enforcement had forecast. From the WAND-TV (NBC Decatur) website on December 30, 2014:

Last year ISP predicted between 300 and 400 thousand people would apply.

As if 102,000 applications were shabby.

That’s it for now. For more information about the Illinois Concealed Carry License visit the Illinois State Police website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Choate, Craig. “Conceal Carry Still In High Demand.” WSIL-TV. 2 Jan. 2015. (http://www.wsiltv.com/home/top-story/Conceal-Carry-Still-In-High-Demand–287377871.html). 10 Jan. 2015.

“Concealed Carry Turnout Lower Than Some Expected.” WAND-TV. 30 Dec. 2014. (http://www.wandtv.com/story/27732775/concealed-carry-turnout-lower-than-some-expected). 10 Jan. 2015.

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