Switch blade knives are now legal in Illinois… Kinda

Switch blade knives are now legal in Illinois, well sort of. With this being Illinois there are some hoops one must jump through to own a switch blade.  Registered gun owners (FOID) are now legal to own switch blade knives which was passed into law August 11th 2017.

Senate Bill 607, uniquely titled “CRIM CD-SWITCHBLADES“, has become Public Act 100-0082. This bill passed both houses and was sent to the governor on June 16th and was approved by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 11th 2017.

The synopsis of the act…

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides an exemption from the prohibition on sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a switchblade knife to a person who possesses a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by the Department of State Police or to a person or an entity engaged in the business of selling or manufacturing switchblade knives.

After examination of the text, we see the addition of the following text…

 (2) The provision of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of
this Section prohibiting the sale, manufacture, purchase,
possession, or carrying of any knife, commonly referred to
as a switchblade knife, which has a blade that opens
automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring
or other device in the handle of the knife, does not apply
to a person who possesses a currently valid Firearm Owner’s
Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by
the Department of State Police or to a person or an entity
engaged in the business of selling or manufacturing
switchblade knives.

Switch Blade Knife

Please note that though Public Act 100-0082 is listed on the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) website, the Unlawful Use of Weapons statute, also on the ILGA website has not yet been updated (August 14th, 2017 12:40 PM). Nothing in the law preempts local ordinance. Links are provided below for your review. Nothing on this page is legal advice, please consult your attorney with specific questions.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=607&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=100589&fref=gc

 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=100-0082&fref=gc

 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K24-1

 

Springfield also Severs Ties with IFMA

A letter from Springfield Armory regarding the Gun Dealer Licensing fiasco…

The Executive Director of the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA) acted without our prior knowledge and against our principles and those of the industry as a whole with respect to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. We no longer have confidence in IFMA and after speaking to other directors we have made the decision to sever all ties with the organization, effective immediately.

I take full responsibility for my failure of oversight in this case and deeply apologize to my employees, customers and industry partners for the distraction and divisiveness this situation has caused within our tight-knit community. Our industry has always stood strong and fought fiercely together in the past and I am personally committed to defeating this harmful legislation. To that end, I have pledged to the NRA that we will bring the full resources of my company to bear in this fight.

We are not new to this battle, Springfield Armory has fought and defeated legislation like this in Illinois for decades. We are wholeheartedly against this bill and will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association and others to see it defeated as the unnecessary and harmful overreach that it is.

We want to assure all Americans, like us, who fight to protect the Second Amendment that we and our industry partners will leave no stone unturned to defeat this bill.


Stefany Reese, PR & Communications Manager
Springfield Armory, Inc.
stefanyr@springfield-armory.com
309-944-8994

Also see Rock River Arms Severs Ties with IFMA

Gun Dealer Licensing and the Great Betrayal

Rock River Arms Severs Ties with IFMA

After further review, Rock River Arms, Inc.® (RRA) is immediately severing all ties with the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA).  We feel that IFMA’s integrity is compromised and we will not be a part of the organization. We trusted that contributions and resources provided to IFMA by RRA were being used to promote and uphold our 2 Amendment values. IFMA’s actions have destroyed that trust.

For more than twenty years, RRA has actively opposed gun control legislation at the local, state, and federal levels.  We have supported and provided monetary and product donations to multiple pro-gun and organizations including NRA, NSSF, ISRA and countless others.  We have attended rallies and spoken at educational events on behalf of gun owners’ rights.  Our employees have collected signatures, written letters and e-mails, called legislators’ offices, as well as attended events, meetings and hearings in Springfield, Illinois.

What we learned, however, was that we are better at manufacturing firearms and accessories than playing political games at the state capitol.  So, we began to utilize the services of lobbyists, first through other organizations and then in 2009, we partnered with several other manufacturers to form IFMA.

Prior to our further review, we believed that the organization had accurately represented us. We feel that IFMA’s actions have compromised its integrity. While their actions may be standard practices at the capitol, backdoor politics and convoluted deal-making are counter to the way we do business and lead our lives.

I sincerely apologize for my lack of direct engagement in IFMA’s  governance and subsequent actions, as well as the abandonment gun owners are feeling.

If you have any questions regarding, or need more information about, this statement or RRA’s position, please contact: Sarah Larson, RRA General Manager at 309-792-5780.

Thank you,

Chuck Larson
President/Owner
Rock River Arms, Inc.

Gun Dealer Licensing and the Great Betrayal

Yesterday the Illinois Senate passed the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. This bill is being sent to the Illinois House for concurrence, so it is not yet law. The Gun Dealer Licensing Act will force mom and pop gun shops out of business and will also create redundant licensing, since gun dealers are already licensed per federal law. The gun dealer licensing act would also limit how many firearms the private individual may transfer per year and also contains a carve out for manufacturers and big box gun corporate gun stores – forcing an unfair burden on small gun stores in Illinois.

If this bill passes out of the house, it will move onto Gov. Bruce Rauner. Many gun owners in Illinois hope, or even expect, that Rauner will veto this bill. Assuming this bill passes the house, this will be Rauner’s first real test on his stance for gun rights. Let us hope he does the right thing and blocks this terrible bill!

When we examine the witness slips to see which individuals and what organizations oppose or support any given bill, we see that the Illinois Firearm Manufacturer’s Association (IFMA) was neutral on the bill. In other words, they were not opposed to a bill that could potentially have a major effect on the operations of their group members. IFMA group members were offered a carve out, however, which is why IFMA dropped their opposition. The carve out would not place the same burden on many of IFMA’s members as it would on smaller “mom and pop” gun shops. Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms are major financial contributors to IFMA, and therefore are taking the brunt of the backlash for the lack of opposition from IFMA.

Later, Springfield Armory CEO released a statement which said in part that, “Will defend the 2nd Amendment,” however when given the opportunity to oppose an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding Illinois gun owners, the stance of IFMA was neutral. Nothing short of opposition to this bill is not defending the 2nd Amendment.

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170427/illinois-senate-passes-legislation-that-will-close-gun-stores

 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1657&GAID=14&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=104404&SessionID=91

 

Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms Trade Opposition to Illinois FFL Licensing Scheme for Carve-Out

Update: Also see…

Rock River Arms Severs Ties with IFMA

Springfield also Severs Ties with IFMA

Transport your Firearm Legally in Illinois – Illinois State Police

Transporting your firearm legally in Illinois is sometimes a confusing topic, but it doesn’t have to be. There is much information that makes it easy to comply with the law to transport your firearm legally in Illinois. However the law does treat Illinois residents and non residents differently, so it is also important to know those differences. It is also important to know the legal differences between “Carry” and “Transportation” in Illinois. This article is not to be considered legal advice.

Transporting your Firearm Legally for Illinois Residents

Illinois residents must always have their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card or their Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) on their person at all times when in possession of firearms and ammunition.

With your FOID, for transport, the firearm must either be..

  • Broken down in a non functioning state, OR
  • Not immediately Accessible, OR
  • Unloaded and enclosed in a case.

The following pamphlet was printed before Illinois allowed carrying of concealed firearms, however does clearly explain how one may transport you firearm legally in Illinois: Transporting-Your-Firearm-Legally-Illinois-State-Police Brochure

For an Illinois resident to carry a firearm, they must have a valid Illinois Concealed Carry License on their person and the firearm must be a hand gun as defined by the Illinois law.

 

Transporting your Firearm Legally for Illinois Non-Residents

The process for an Illinois non-resident to transport their firearm legally in Illinois is similar to that of a resident, however there are also some differences.  The first difference is that the non-resident does not need a FOID card. Infact most non residents aren’t even aware of what a FOID card is. Essentially it is a card that says you have passed a background check, similar to the National Instant Check System (NICS) that anyone who has bought a gun has underwent.  The difference is Illinois residents need this card on their person at all times they are in possession of firearms or ammunition, non residents do not.

For purposes of transportation, the non-resident must adhere to the above described criteria of broken down in a non functioning state, OR not immediately Accessible, OR unloaded and enclosed in a case.

It is important to note that the case does not need to be a separate case for the firearm and the ammunition. It is also important to note that the case(s) need not be locked. There is some mis-information surrounding this topic and I believe that confusion arises when we discuss the federal Firearm Owner Protection Act (FOPA) which states for federal transportation purposes the firearms and ammunition must be in separate locked cases.  Illinois does not have this requirement.

The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act states:

(e) Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a non-resident from transporting a concealed firearm within his or her vehicle in Illinois, if the concealed firearm remains within his or her vehicle and the non-resident:
(1) is not prohibited from owning or possessing a
firearm under federal law;
(2) is eligible to carry a firearm in public under
the laws of his or her state or territory of residence, as evidenced by the possession of a concealed carry license or permit issued by his or her state of residence, if applicable; and
(3) is not in possession of a license under this Act.
If the non-resident leaves his or her vehicle unattended, he or she shall store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle in accordance with subsection (b) of Section 65 of this Act.

 

What about Carrying of a Concealed Firearm in Illinois?

As previously stated, in the eyes of the law transportation and carrying are two separate and distinctly different subjects.  Only hand guns may be carried in Illinois. And Illinois does not allow Open Carry, meaning the firearm is visible to the general public (except on ones own private land, or the land of another with their permission).  Illinois residents must have their concealed carry license on their person at all times when carrying concealed.

However the law is more loose for non-residents. While Illinois does not honor (read: reciprocation) the concealed carry licenses of any other states, and while Illinois only will issue non-resident licenses to 4 other states (See recent changes to non resident eligibility) actually non-residents are able to carry concealed firearms without an Illinois concealed carry license while in their vehicle if they are licensed to carry in their state of residence.

 

Some legal Definitions you need to know when transporting your firearm legally in Illinois.

According to various laws  it is important you understand how certain terms are defined legally in Illinois.

The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing (FCCL) Act defines concealed firearm as…

“Concealed firearm” means a loaded or unloaded handgun carried on or about a person completely or mostly concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.

 

The FCCL defines handgun as…

“Handgun” means any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

The FCCL, however excludes the following items from the definition of handgun…

“Handgun” does not include:
(1) a stun gun or taser;
(2) a machine gun as defined in item (i) of paragraph

(7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
(3) a short-barreled rifle or shotgun as defined in
item (ii) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012; or
(4) any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or
B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter, or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second, or which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors.

 

The FCCL as well as previous case law, defines case as…

“case” includes a glove compartment or console that completely encloses the concealed firearm or ammunition, the trunk of the vehicle, or a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container.

 

This article is not legal advice. Please consult your criminal defense attorney with any questions.

How to file an Illinois Witness Slip

Protecting your gun rights is your responsibility. When new gun bans and legislation are introduced it is your responsibility to voice your opposition. When pro gun bills and legislation are introduced it your your responsibility to voice your support.  Filing and Illinois Witness slip is very fast and simple to do, and I’ll explain step by step below.

 

Step 1 – Optional Create an Account

The first step in filing an Illinois witness slips is actually optional, but I recommend it. That is to create an account at the Illinois General Assembly Website. This is an official Illinois Government website, but not is not the main parent website where the test of bills are stored.  If you already have an account at the my.ilga website, proceed to step 2 below.

Visit my.ilga.gov . If you don’t already have an account, simply click on the link to “Register” which will redirect you to the registration page:  http://my.ilga.gov/Account/Register where you would enter in your email address and password, and agree to the terms. You will then be sent a confirmation email.

Registration is recommended because when completing a witness slip, you will be asked information such as your name and who you represent.  Rather than completing this information each time you file a slip, registering an account makes it simple because it remembers the information for you.

 

Once you have created your account, or if you prefer not to create an account, you may then file a witness slip. But how do you know what slips require your attention?  You may visit the facebook page for GunRights4Illinois or visit the Illinois State Rifle Association at member@isra.org . Also a great resource is  Illinois Carry. Through the various aforementioned organizations you WILL be notified about any proposed legislation that needs your attention.

Often a link will be provided in these notices. Typically a bill number will be provided in these notices. If a direct link is provided that makes it simple for you to find. If you only have a bill number, you will visit the my.ILGA website and browse through the committee hearings to find the bill or Amendment you are searching to find.

 

Step 2 – Creating the slip

Assuming you find the direct link and click it, you would be directed to the link requiring your attention. If you have an account, click the log on button in the upper right hand corner. If you don’t have an account begin by manually typing in your information.  Information such as Name and Address is self explanatory.

Information such as Firm/Business Agency does not apply if you are representing yourself, and you would simply input “Self”.  It is frowned upon to enter information such as “NRA” if you do not represent the NRA in an official capacity.   For Title, you can simply put N/A, or Mr. or Mrs.

IN the box regarding representation is somewhat redundant to firm.  If you are officially representing an organization or agency you would input that information in the box, however if you have no official representation, you would then be representing yourself.

Step 3 – Position

You will be allowed to enter your position to the proposed bill or amendment. Either for (Proponent), against (Opponent) or neutral (No Position). It is also extremely important that you use the drop down to select “original bill” or a specific amendment. Often there will be a good bill, but an anti gun politician will try to attach an anti gun amendment. It is important to know what you are opposing or supporting!

Step 4 – Testimony

You are given the option to give oral testimony. You would only select this box if you intend to drive to Springfield and give testimony infront of committee. You would select written statement if you have officially filed a written statement on the proposed bill. However in nearly all cases you would simply select “Record of Appearance Only” which simply records your official position on the bill or amendment.

You would then click on “Create Slip” and you will be done.

 

Often people will ask how much these witness slips really matter. While the slips don’t matter nearly as much as they should, they allow We the People to be heard. Also before each committee meeting the committee chair will state how many are for and how many are against the specific bill or amendment. Often politicians have remarked how quickly the pro gun rights crowd in Illinois is to mobilize on specific issues. These witness slips do matter! We can not always block bad bills in committee, but sometimes we can.

 

Major change to Illinois Non-Resident Concealed Carry Licensing Eligibility

Since Illinois passed the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Licensing Act in 2013,  the words “substantially similar” have been tossed around and discussed. This is because within the Illinois law, any non resident’s state must have substantially similar gun laws and mental health reporting for that non-Illinois resident to be eligible for an Illinois Concealed Carry license.  Previous to the week of February 1st 2017, only Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia met this definition of substantially similar.

However the Week of February 1st, the Illinois State Police announced a change to their list of qualifying states eligible for the Illinois Concealed Carry License.  This list now only includes Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia as listed on the Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau Website.  Only 54 non-resident licenses have been issued in Illinois since 2014.

It is unknown at this time what shall happen to those licensees who were previously issued licenses in Hawaii, New Mexico and South Carolina. Stay tuned for updates as they become available.

The 100th General Assembly brings a Fury of Anti-Gun Legislation proposed in Illinos

The Illinois 100th General Assembly (State Representatives and Senators) were sworn in on January 11th, 2017. Immediately bills began to be filed of various topics, including your gun rights. Here we are 3 weeks later and we have a virtual shopping list of proposed anti gun legislation in Illinois.

True to the prediction of Todd Vandermyde, Liaison for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, the anti gun politicians and their financial backers know they won’t be able to get much of anything done at the federal level. Therefore they have focused their attention at the state and municipal levels. We can expect a non stop attack against our gun rights in Illinois.  The currently proposed anti gun legislation brings a multitude of taxes which will affect your ability to buy a firearm or take part in the shooting activities.

  • HB271 Handgun Ammo Serialize – This bill is  hold over from the 99th general assembly which went nowhere. It is an impractical bill which would require each and every bullet manufactured and sold in Illinois to have a unique serial number laser engraved. Other states have enacted such laws which have cost tax payers millions and done nothing to curb, nor solve crime.
  • HB329 Concealed Carry Prohibit Place – Adds video gaming establishments to the list of prohibited areas. Currently the only gambling establishments are horse and dog tracks as well as off track betting facilities and casinos. This also makes it illegal to carry a concealed firearm in ALL residences in Illinois unless a welcoming sign is posted.
  • HB504 FOID Card Terrorist Watchlist – Illinois very own “No Fly, No Buy”, which again is a hold over from the 99th general assembly and is a clear violation of due diligence guaranteed to us in the United States constitution.
  • HB521 Lost & Stolen Firearms Penalty – Creates a penalty if you do not report your firearm lost or stolen. This is similar to the penalty introduced by Cook County in 2013.
  • SB009 Amendment 2 – creates a 5% tax on shooting ranges, gun clubs, hunting clubs and just about any other recreational activity outside of the shooting sports within Illinois.
  • HB1810 TAX-FIREARMS – creates a 3.75% tax on firearms and firearm parts in Illinois.

Some of the above bills are currently scheduled to go to committee. Your opposition is required to ensure your continued gun rights in Illinois. 2017 is the year for you to get active and fight for your gun rights in Illinois. We can expect a non stop attack for at least the next 4 years. Don’t let down your guard.

Illinois 2016 Concealed Carry License Totals

The totals are once again in for those who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms in Illinois. Illinois Added over 73,000 concealed carry licensees. Illinois also added 14 non-resident licensees in 2016.

This brings the total Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses to 217,380. The total number of non resident licenses is only 34. A disgustingly high number is the amount of people who wait in limbo for the concealed carry review board, which is 2,385.

The number of non resident concealed carry licenses is likely so low because only Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia qualify for a non-resident concealed carry license in Illinois.

As a side note, the current population of Illinois is 12.8 million (in 2014 census). This means that slightly less than 2 percent of Illinois population choose to exercise their right to bear arms. This possibly could be due to the high licensing fees collected by the State of Illinois as well as the 16 hours of training also required.

 

 

Thanks to KWC at Illinois Carry for your FOIA requests… http://illinoiscarry.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=64556

 

Second Amendment Foundation CHALLENGES DOJ TO INVESTIGATE GUN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHICAGO

BELLEVUE, WA While the Department of Justice has just issued a scathing report that Chicago police have systematically violated the civil rights of minorities in the city, the Second Amendment Foundation today is wondering why the DOJ hasnt investigated the city for repeatedly violating the rights of gun owners.

In the wake of our landmark 2010 victory that nullified Chicagos handgun ban, noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, the city has deliberately dragged its feet and created one roadblock after another in an effort to prevent city residents from exercising their firearms rights. As a result, weve had to take the city back to court, while the Justice Department was little more than a spectator.

We shouldnt have to do the Justice Departments work to defend the civil rights of firearms owners, he added.

In December, Gottlieb wrote in an opinion piece that appeared in several newspapers that the next attorney general should appoint an assistant whose specific duty would be to search for gun laws that violate the constitutional rights of citizens and take legal action.

Under Barack Obama, Gottlieb observed, the Justice Department has been rather choosy about which constitutional and civil rights they defended. The Second Amendment protects an individual civil right, same as the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments. Lets hope that when new leadership assumes the helm at Justice, their investigators are reminded that there are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, and its DOJs job to protect all of them.

It would be a welcome change to see the Justice Department come down on Chicago and other municipalities and tell them to clean up their act where gun rights are concerned, Gottlieb said.