Executive Directors Message
Richard Pearson

Michael Bloomberg has already begun to pour money into the 2022 election campaigns.  In Virginia, long time anti-gun politician Terry McAuliffe is running for Governor.  Michael Bloomberg has already poured 1.8 million dollars into McAuliffe’s campaign.Virginia was once a solid Second Amendment state but now gun rights are under constant attack.  Virginia and other states that were 2A strongholds have turned into battlegrounds in every election.  It is not just Illinois.  Every gun owner in every state needs to ramp up their efforts to battle the billionaires, media and Hollywood celebrities from taking over the Country with their communist ideology.  The speech Nancy Pelosi gave in Great Britain last week is unequivocal evidence of the leftist plans for the United States.  The Second Amendment is what they fear because it will keep them running roughshod over the freedoms and values that made the United States great.Recently, there have been articles in national newspapers regarding the tremendous increase in women purchasing and learning to use firearms.  The only newsy part of the stories is the national media recognizing that fact and carrying a story about the increase.  For those of us involved in firearm education, it is not news.  The Well Armed Woman chapters are doing very well.  Here at the ISRA, we are seeing more and more women joining and participating.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

There are those out there that seem to promote victim status as some kind of noble experience.  It isn’t.  I have had the privilege of teaching many women.  Some had horrifying stories to tell.  These women had been beaten, assaulted, kicked, stomped on, strangled, bound and gagged.  One of my students had her back broken in three places by a baseball bat.  Others had broken jaws, teeth knocked out, broken ribs and all kinds of injuries.  Some took years and many surgeries to physically recover not to mention the mental ordeal they have had to deal with for years.  Some will never get over it but others have had the courage to handle what happened to them and reconstitute a more normal life.  Still, the mental and physical scars remain and will never be forgotten.

I am proud to say I have had three calls from former female students saying they had an encounter while they were armed and because they had a firearm and were trained on how to use it, the encounter ceased then and there.  It is amazing how looking down the barrel of a .38 Special or a 9mm can give the biggest bully an attitude adjustment.  Remember, you have to be trained, not just own it.

The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the Easterday v Deerfield case yesterday, September 22nd.  The Vivian Brown case will be argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in January or February.

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Felon FOID-Right Restoration (adapted from sigalelaw.com): On September 2, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its Opinion in Evans v. Cook County State’s Attorney.  The Court reversed an appellate ruling that Section 10 of the FOID Card Act could never be used to restore the firearm rights of felons because of its interplay with the federal felon-in-possession prohibition, and because of the way the State law was written.  The Illinois State Rifle Association supported Mr. Evans in this effort.

The Court reiterated that firearm rights are civil rights, and ruled that restoration of firearm rights under state law also removed the federal prohibition and satisfied the federal statute.  This ruling is a major victory for those with criminal records who have strived to overcome, who simply seek an avenue to prove it and restore their rights.  Had the Court ruled the other way, the path to restoration would have been blocked completely.  Indeed, many such restoration Petitions throughout the State have been stayed (frozen) while waiting for the Court to rule in Evans.  With the Court’s ruling, those Petitioners may now move forward with their claims.

Unfortunately, the Court also felt constrained to uphold the trial court which ruled against Mr. Evans, even though there was no hearing where Mr. Evans could have presented evidence.  The Court noted that with the information learned from this case, plus the additional passage of time, Mr. Evans (who demonstrated in many ways throughout this case his rehabilitation through family, running his own business, etc.) may bring a new Petition.

Besides the important ruling regarding felon restoration rights in general, this case is a cautionary tale that if you are going to bring a Section 10 Petition to restore your FOID rights (regardless of the reason for the FOID denial or revocation) you must make sure to present all evidence in your favor to the court, including demanding a hearing and testifying and presenting any witnesses.  It is the only chance you will get to do so.