ISRA takes aim on imminent gun rights fight
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), is calling for a united front in the organization’s battle to preserve the rights of legal gun owners.
“This is going to be a tough year and we need everyone’s help,” Pearson said in a Feb. 7 bulletin sent to members. "The Committee hearings will begin very soon, and we will need everyone to submit witness slips when needed," Pearson added of the hearings where committee members gather to make decisions about legislation being proposed to the committee for consideration. "We will do our best to keep you apprised of the situation. While it has been gratifying to see the number of new members joining or rejoining the ISRA, we need many more.”
Above everything else, Pearson stressed that members need to keep their cool as the battle in Springfield heats up.
“I know these are troubling times and gun owners are worried and frustrated,” he added in the bulletin. “There are a few who have called legislators names. That is not helpful. The ones that I know about were not ISRA members, but we are still painted with the same brush. When that happens and we try to talk to legislators, the name calling becomes the topic and we never get to discuss the bill or issue that we were there to talk about. It simply makes our job more difficult.”
Pearson said that there are currently 44 gun bills being considered in the General Assembly and more are coming. He specifically warned about House Bill 174, which would punish gun owners for not reporting a stolen firearm within 72 hours by stripping them of their FOID cards; House Bill 899, which would allow the State Police to revoke for FOID card of a gun owner for a year if they report three separate incidents in a two-year period; and Senate Bill 121, which seeks to place a penny sales tax on every round of ammunition sold in the state.
“Remember that the target of these laws really is the legitimate firearm owners,” Pearson added in the bulletin. “These laws have little, if any, effect on criminals.”