March Madness

It’s that time of year again. A time when the best in the game square off and test their skills, and if they aren’t good enough…they get eliminated.

There you have my thinly veiled metaphor comparing our annual college basketball tournament to gunfighting skill…but it’s a valid one. Shooting a basketball and shooting a gun are both physical skills, and physical skills erode without regular practice.

But it’s not just about shooting, is it? After all, if all a basketball player did was stand and shoot set shots from the free throw line, what chance would you give him in the next big game? (And what if he only shot those free throws a couple of times a year?) In actuality, even if someone were 100% from the free throw line, but that was all they were any good at, you probably wouldn’t even consider them a complete basketball player. In order to be considered a basketball player, they’d need some ball handling skills, right? They’d need to be able to dribble and move with the ball, and do it without thinking about it.

And you’d have to be able to shoot from different distances and angles than just from the free throw line, too. Layups, hook shots, and even some 3-point shots all need to be practiced…and with either hand…to be considered a complete player. And in addition to competence in the physical skills, you’d need to develop some sense of game strategy and tactics; where to move, when to move, and then when and where to take the shot you’re capable of making.

So it is with the defensive pistol. Standing in a lane at your local square range and shooting a paper target at 7 yards is much like shooting free throws. It’s an important skill to have, but if that’s all you can do, you’re probably not ready to play in the big game. And at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, our game is to the death.

So what to do? My suggestion is to get your own March Madness on. In much of the country, this is the time of year when local gun clubs start spinning up their competitive schedule, and as you may already know, I am a big fan of competition for honing pistol skills. Don’t be intimidated to try it. There are all sorts of pistol games out there, for just about any skill level.

One type of match I recommend to get started in the competitive arena is a steel plate match. While some matches, like official Steel Challenge matches, may include drawing from the holster or a little bit of movement, most are much simpler. At a typical club level steel match, you’ll likely be allowed to shoot “off the table,” which is essentially from the low ready position. No holster required, and spare magazines, speed loaders, or moon clips can simply be laid out on the table in front of you. When the timer starts, you will shoot a certain sequence of steel targets for time. There may be a certain order in which you have to engage the targets, and maybe a mandatory reload, but that’s all there is to it.

And although it is relatively simple, the practice you get from shooting a steel match is a lot better than going to a square range and shooting “free throws.” You’ll fire multiple shots, at multiple targets, at different distances, and maybe even do some speed reloads…even on just one course of fire. These matches don’t require a lot of specialized equipment or a ton of ammo, and entry fees are usually a bargain.

The next level would be one of the “action” pistol sports, like USPSA or IDPA. These types of matches do usually require some equipment such as a proper holster and ammo pouches, but they don’t have to be fancy. While you certainly can get into a lot of specialized equipment, it isn’t necessary to get started.

In these matches, shooters will move through a variety of “stages,” or courses of fire which can be laid out in just about any way you can imagine. There will be multiple targets, sometimes moving targets, and some targets which may be partially obscured. You’ll shoot from all sorts of stationary positions, and sometimes on the move, firing multiple shots and reloading as you go. This is great practice for a variety of skills which can be critical in a defensive encounter…no “free throws” here!

Critics will often point out that these pistol games are just that…games…and that they don’t teach proper tactics. That is fair, but I don’t believe it is a problem, as long as you understand what you are getting from the game, and what you are not getting. While pistol competition may not be “tactical,” what it does give you is the opportunity to practice skills that you usually cannot practice on most public ranges. Skills like the draw stroke, multiple shots, multiple target transitions, reloads, moving safely with a gun in your hand, and even the occasional malfunction drill can all be worked in a pistol competition.
And in my opinion, the most important thing that this sort of practice develops is that it makes the mechanical operation of the gun itself automatic. When you can manipulate the hardware without conscious thought, it frees up your mind to solve the problem at hand, whether it is how to negotiate a USPSA pistol stage, or how to defend yourself.

So why not move past just shooting “free throws,” and get into some March Madness this year. Your pistol skills will improve, and you’ll have fun in the process.

549 – What Does A Reasonable Man Sounds Like

As I listen and watch what others have been putting out in the media I realize that I am not trying to compete with that.  I am here to remind you that communication of our way of life, the American way, truth, justice, freedom is in your hands.  Communication is a powerful tool.  It helps online and in your home life.

 

This episode I take some bits from episode 134 and put a new spin on communication for us pro-rights folks. Michael J. Woodland defines MOA for us.

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Trojan Horse

The story of the Trojan Horse is one of deceit, wrapped up like a gift.
After 10 years of siege, the Greeks had been unable to conquer Troy. So Odysseus had a giant wooden horse built…the horse being the symbol of Troy…and offered it as tribute to Athena, as the Greeks apparently abandoned the siege. But an elite force of Greek soldiers was hidden inside the horse, emerging once the Trojans had wheeled it into the city, celebrated their apparent victory, and fallen asleep. The hidden Greek troops killed the guards and signaled the rest of their army to return and finish off the city.

Gun rights have been under siege for a long time, and our opponents have recently tried to attack using the terror watch list and no fly list maintained by the federal government. Anti-gun rights politicians and activists would like to see these lists used to prohibit anyone on them from purchasing a firearm, but there are several problems with such a move…primarily with the lack of due process before denying someone the exercise of a civil right.

But Senator Marco Rubio has a gift for us. Senator Rubio has proposed legislation which introduces due process into any denial of a firearms sale based on these secret government lists…and more. Were Rubio’s bill to pass, anyone who had been investigated federally for terrorism within the last ten years (whether currently on the watch lists or not) could have their firearms transfer delayed for up to three days, and it could only be stopped by an emergency petition granted in court. Once in court, the government would have to show probable cause that the individual in question was involved or terrorism, and failing that, the petition would be denied, and the government would have to cover the costs.

They would have to put up or shut up…sounds great, right?
It does, until you consider a few realities of the legal process.
First of all, these petition hearings are going to take place very quickly. Remember, they have three days to stop your gun purchase if they’re going to…so that’s exactly what they’re going to do. They will first immediately delay your transfer, and then you’re going to get served papers telling you that a hearing will take place in the nearest U.S. District Court, and it’s going to be in a couple of days. You’re going to be told you can appear with an attorney and contest the government’s petition. If you can’t get it together in those couple of days, tough. They’ll deny your request for a continuance and go ahead and allow the U.S. Attorney to present the petition.

If you’re lucky, the U.S. Attorney and the federal judge will not be Obama or Clinton appointees, and the petition will be denied, even though you weren’t able to adequately defend yourself in the allotted three days.

But another scenario might be that (since you couldn’t afford an attorney, or get one to take your case and appear in federal court for you on such short notice) the U.S. Attorney petitions the federal judge to stop your firearms transfer, and the federal judge (absent any case being made on your behalf) finds probable cause that you are involved in terrorism and stops the sale.

Now you’ve got ’em, right? Now they have to arrest you for terrorism (wrongly) and prosecute you (and lose, and get sued, yada yada). That will show ’em!
Wrong. First of all, the bill only says the government only has to show probable cause in the petition hearing to stop the sale of the gun. It doesn’t say they have to charge and arrest you. There is no language in the bill which says “shall arrest,” and there’s a big difference in the enforcement world between shall arrest and may arrest. That means they have discretion, and they don’t have to arrest you or charge you with anything…just grant the emergency petition and stop the transfer of the gun. (If you think the existence of probable cause is necessarily going to result in charges, then you haven’t been paying attention. Just ask Hillary Clinton or David Gregory, to name a couple.)

Remember, the whole point of denials based on terror investigations is not to catch terrorists, and it is not to stop terrorists from getting guns. The point is to add one more tool which can be leveraged against citizens attempting to buy guns. Once the petition hearing is completed and you’ve been denied your gun…in court…they have succeeded, and do not need to go any farther. They deny the sale and walk away. Of course, you can enlist an attorney and sue the government to get your sale approved. Who knows, maybe some day there will be a famous Supreme Court decision named after you. But who wants to go through all that?

It isn’t necessary, of course. As it stands now, the government cannot deny you a gun, even if you are on these watch lists. And the government already has the ability to investigate and charge anyone with terrorism, any time they can show probable cause. They can do that now, without Rubio’s bill. And no one believes that this bill or any like it will actually stop a terrorist from obtaining a gun. All this bill does is to slip in a weapon which can be used against us…a Trojan Horse dressed up like due process.

Stop Gun Violence Using This One Weird Trick!

Want to know the secret to stopping gun violence in the United States? All you have to do…as long as you are the President…is simply write out an executive order, dictating the ways law abiding citizens may buy and sell guns! It’s just that easy!

Now wait just a dang minute.

This is all it takes to put the brakes on violent crime? You mean to tell me that all this time, all we needed was for President Obama to basically sit down and knock out an executive order?

We probably ought to be ticked off that all along he had the individual, personal power to put a stop to violent crime, and he did nothing for seven years! All he had to do was put pen to paper and lives are saved? Come on, man! How many people died waiting for you to do what you did today?
I mean, I can’t imagine how angry the families of murder victims must be, knowing that but for the inaction of the President, their loved one would be alive today. Think of the lives he could have saved in Chicago alone if he had done this as soon as he took office. If this executive order is actually the life saving act the President claims it is, he has probably been criminally negligent for letting the killing go on so long.

But of course, none of this is true. The President’s show order will do precisely nothing to decrease violent crime, and will only hinder the law abiding from exercising their civil right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. In his speech today he wouldn’t even claim that it will actually prevent any crime, because he knows that is not true.

“It won’t happen during my presidency.”

What will happen tomorrow is that violent criminals will continue being violent…just like yesterday. And then when (not if) the next high profile murder takes place, the usual suspects will pop right back up and start pointing out the “loopholes” in the President’s little term paper…and then will call for even more useless restrictions.

It sounded so simple…

The Edge of A Razor

I’ve thought quite a bit about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia the past few days and like many of you, I am very concerned for the future of the 2nd Amendment. Indeed, the loss of Justice Scalia has very troubling implications for the integrity of the Constitution as a whole.
But it’s not supposed to be that way.

The United States of America as constituted was not supposed to hinge on the fate of a single individual. The Constitution and the Republic were not supposed to live or die based on whether one person lived or died. It is supposed to be stronger than any one person, and it is disturbing to note that it now appears that both have become so weakened that the loss of a single Supreme Court justice threatens it all.

And yet, I suppose it has always been that way. Who is to say how things might have turned out if not for individual figures in our history? What if General George Washington had fallen ill and died before crossing the Delaware into Trenton? What if an assassin’s bullet had found Abraham Lincoln in the early days of the Civil War, instead of after?

There are plenty of such instances we could point to which, if not for the efforts of one person, our nation would look very different today. I think the difference today is that we don’t need to look into the rear view mirror of history to see the impact .

All we have to do is to look at Justice Scalia’s opinion in DC vs. Heller, where the right of the people to keep and bear arms was upheld by the narrowest of margins…and we can clearly see that the 2nd Amendment balances on a razor’s edge. Like it or not, it took one man to preserve that right, and it will only take one to destroy it.

— Dave Cole

 

Guest Post – About AR 15’s

The AR-15 was originally designed by a company called Armalite in the 1950s. It eventually became type classified the M16 by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Now, the name AR-15 refers to civilian legal semi-auto variants of the military M16 and M4 rifles. The AR-15 system is the longest serving service rifle in U.S. military history. It has served in one form or another for the last 49 years at the time of this writing.

The standard chambering for the AR is 5.56x45mm NATO. The commercial equivalent is .223 Remington although there are subtle differences between the two that shooters should be aware of (see further reading section below).

The AR-15 utilizes lightweight alloys and polymers in its construction to reduce weight and cost of manufacture. The receiver is aluminum while the grips and stocks are polymers. The barrel, bolt carrier group, and fire control group are all steel. A basic AR-15 weighs between seven and eight pounds unloaded.

Barrels range from 10″ to 24″ in length. On civilian legal fighting rifles, we are looking at barrels between 16″ and 20″. Rifles with barrels shorter than 16″ must be registered as Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) with the BATF.

The AR operates on a principal commonly called direct gas impingement although that term implies that gas is simply blown onto the bolt to cycle the action which isn’t quite true. What is true is that the AR-15 does not use a piston system like its predecessor the M-14 or most of its competitors around the world. Instead, high-pressure gas is directed out a port in the barrel, down a gas tube, into the bolt carrier. Inside the bolt carrier, the gas expands pushing the bolt carrier rearward. As the bolt carrier moves it rotates the bolt, unlocking it from the chamber. The bolt carrier continues to move rearward taking the bolt and spent case with it. The spent case extracts out the ejection port. A spring in the receiver extension (inside the stock) forces the bolt carrier group forward again, displacing a new round from the magazine and feeding it into the chamber.

The stock sights on the AR are quite good. They employ a post front sight and an aperture rear sight. A2 style sights are adjustable for elevation to adjust for ranges out to 600-800 meters depending on your particular rifle.

The controls on the AR are quasi-ambidextrous by default. While designed for a right handed shooter in mind they can be used by lefties with a slightly different manual of arms. On A2 and later rifles, there is a brass deflector behind the ejection port that deflects the brass forward and away from the shooter’s face while firing left handed.

The stock USGI magazines for the AR-15 are aluminum and come in 20 and 30 round capacities.

 

The AR Advantage

 

In the beginning, the principal benefit of the AR-15 over its predecessors was its light weight and ease of handling. In the Jungles of Vietnam, ranges were short, and fire superiority was favored over long range terminal performance. Its range is certainly sufficient, however, for most encounters either by soldiers or civilians. Marines have been training to hit man sized targets with this rifle at 500 and have done so for decades.

Since the AR has recoil, it is easy to learn to shoot well. Because the ammunition is less expensive than most other centerfire cartridges, you’ll be able to practice more. That also means you’ll be able to stock up affordably for that rainy day.

In the last ten years, the AR platform has truly evolved into a 21st-century weapon system. Accessories are now available to allow you mount lights, lasers, and night vision optics to your rifle. Collapsible stocks are now common which allow you to easily fit the rifle to you. Polymer magazines are now being built that can survive being run over by a truck. There have never been more options for the civilian shooter looking for a military pattern rifle than there is now with the AR-15.

Optics are also easier to mount on the AR-15 than some other platforms provided you start with a “flat top” model. Some people are opposed to optical sights, either red dot scope or telescopic, but I feel that anything that improves hit probability is a good thing.

The ergonomics on the AR are second-to-none. The controls are all easy to reach right from the firing position. Because it can be so compact the AR can be good for both indoors and out.

Given that the design is now almost 50 years old, the patents have expired. Dozens of companies are now building them. Parts and complete rifles can be found anywhere. Even Wal-Mart is selling ARs in certain parts of the country. This is a great thing if you are a high volume shooter or planning for hard times. I am convinced the AR-15 is easier to keep running for the average citizen than any other rifle available on the U.S. market.

About AR Reliability

Due to a less-than-graceful entry into service during Vietnam, the AR has poor reputation with some folks that continue to this day. Much of the issues with those early rifles were due to bureaucratic incompetence. Once the Army issued cleaning kits and resumed chrome lining the chamber and bore of their rifles the problems went away.

One of the things you need to do to keep your rifle running strong is lube it properly. Some folks think that running the rifle dry helps keep dust and powder residue out of the weapon. This is wrong. The weapon will accumulate filth from firing and being carried regardless of how it is lubed. Dirt that is lubed, however, is a lot slicker than dirt that is dry. Keep the rifle wet, and it will keep running for a long time without fuss.

Part of the problem with military rifles is that they shoot them until they break. Generally the military does no preventive maintenance on their weapons so troops carrying older weapons often experience problems. If your life depends on a weapon won’t you replace the springs and wear parts at regular intervals to ensure reliability? This is common practice with handguns used for duty by law enforcement and it needs to be standard practice for duty rifles as well. I may cover part life and replacement intervals in a future article. In the meantime a simple Google search should find you the information you need.

Lastly, make sure you get good magazines. I recommend USGI or Magpul mags. There may be some others that work but I have no experience with them. There are a lot of poor quality mags out there made by third rate companies. Do a little research before making a purchase and you’ll be able to avoid any heartache. Number your magazines so that if one starts to cause malfunctions you can isolate it. Mags are consumable items so keep a fresh supply handy.

What to Buy?

Choosing a rifle is a highly personnel thing. I will provide some general recommendations that apply to those looking for a hard use gun. If you are looking for a plinker then what you buy doesn’t matter much.

First choose a rifle from a reputable manufacturer. Dozens of companies are building ARs but only a few really build hard use weapons. Companies you should look into are Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM), Colt, Daniel Defense, Knights Armament, Lewis Machine & Tool (LMT), and Noveske Rifleworks. These companies build their rifles to a standard so that you know what you are getting. They also use the quality control measures necessary to ensure a quality product leaves their doors. Many other companies don’t.

I would choose either a 16″ or 20″ chrome lined barrel. I have come to prefer 16″ as it is a handier length and doesn’t give up too much velocity. The chrome lining is much harder than plain steel which improves barrel life. It is much easier to clean also than plain steel. There is a lot of consternation on the internet about the accuracy of chrome lined barrels but most of this is nonsense. If you and your rifle can consistently shoot 4″ groups at 100 meters (4 MOA) than you can probably hit a man sized target at 500 meters. Most chrome lined barrels will shoot 2 MOA with decent ammo. How much more accuracy do you need?

Your bolt should be high pressure (HP) tested and magnetic particle inspected (MPI). This is a requirement on military rifles and it ensures that there are no defects in your bolt. You want a defect free bolt since it has to hold back up to 62,000 PSI of pressure with each shot.

Fixed stocks work but I much prefer a collapsible stock. Being able to adjust the stock on the fly helps with getting into different positions and allows you to adjust for the clothing you are wearing. The A2 stock is too long for many, if not most, shooters.

Get a flat top rifle so that you have the greatest flexibility in mounting sights and optics. While it is true that optics can be mounted on top of carry handle sights that arrangement prevents you from getting a proper cheek weld. Your accuracy will suffer accordingly. If you want to start with standard sights then buy a detachable carry handle that way you have options later.

Many rifles today come with free floating rail systems. Floating the barrel can improve accuracy. More importantly, these rail systems allow you to mount accessories such as sights, lights, and sling mounts. They are highly customizable. Non floating rail systems are also available and are easier to install and remove. If you opt for a free float rail make sure you understand how to disassemble it for maintenance.

Buy good magazines. USGI aluminum is OK but they do not take the punishment that the newer polymer mags can take. Since magazines are a weak point in any weapon system it pays to buy the best up front. Magpul P-Mags are both affordable and highly reliable.

The AR-15 isn’t perfect but nothing ever is. Every choice involves compromises. After a half century of use the faults of the AR system are well known and industry has solved most of them with product improvements. The others can generally be mitigated with training and knowledge of how the system works. There are a lot of alternatives to the AR but none of them are truly revolutionary systems. Dollar for dollar the AR performs as well as anything out there.

This guest article was written by Douglas Brooks. He is the founder of ProReviewly.com. He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot. He is also Rifle optic guru.

If you like the podcast, download the free app for it on IOS at http://BlackManWithAGun.org also available in Google Play for Android. APPLE IOS APPS GOOGLE APPS

What If They Gave a Background Check and Nobody Came?

“What’s wrong with requiring a background check to buy a gun?”

I wish I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me that question, but a story that surfaced this week might help provide a little clarity.

When a NICS background check is submitted for approval, one of the possible responses is “denied.” In the event of a denial, the applicant has the option of appealing the finding. The problem which surfaced this week is that the FBI announced that it is stopping the processing of such appeals “indefinitely.”

Due to the volume of new NICS background checks, the FBI says it has had to reassign personnel normally dedicated to the appeals process to handle the increase in new requests. What this means is that if you have been denied and appealed that finding, you can suck it.

But what’s the big deal? I mean, the 7,100 pending denial appeals are all bad people…aren’t they?
Not necessarily. While there are certainly some in that pool which were rightly denied, many are denied simply due to mistaken identity or other inaccurate information. Those people are being denied access to a Constitutionally guaranteed civil right for no other reason than bureaucratic inefficiency.

But hey…you have to break some eggs to make an omelet, and and you have to violate some rights to insure that criminals can’t get guns, right? That assumes that the existence of the background check system actually keeps guns out of criminal hands. While anti-gun rights organizations are fond of pointing to the number of NICS denials as evidence of the effectiveness of background checks, the truth is that these numbers have little to do with the way that criminals acquire guns.

Think he’s appealing a denied NICS check? (It’s a trick question: he’s not submitting to a background check in the first place)

This is because criminals simply do not submit to background checks. Criminals most often get guns from friends and family, black market street sources, or they steal them. Therefore, criminals are largely unaffected by the NICS system. So who does submit to background checks? Law-abiding citizens, that’s who. So the most likely person to be appealing a denied background check is going to be a law-abiding citizen who is the victim of mistaken identity or inaccurate information in the NICS system.

So as your mechanic might say, “there’s your problem right there.” Law-abiding citizens are denied access to a civil right, and criminals go about their business…simply because the government can’t get around to it. That’s what’s wrong with background checks.

— Dave Cole

Getting the Message

On Monday, Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich publicly announced that customers should not bring guns into the bakery-cafe chain’s stores.

“Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”

Two days later, a criminal pulled a gun and fatally shot a police officer inside a Panera restaurant in Abingdon, Maryland. He then fled the store and engaged responding police in a gunfight, killing another before being killed himself.

That’s some “Panera warmth,” right there behind the crime scene tape.
All of this happened in Maryland, a state with some of the strictest “gun safety” laws in the country, in the “safety” of Panera’s newly declared “gun free zone.”

I guess he didn’t get the message.
But here’s my message to you. There is no such thing as a gun free zone, because in a free society, gun free zones operate on the honor system. And in case you hadn’t noticed, murderers are not honorable.

Now if you are a fan of these types of restrictions, you might point out that the victim in the Panera store was a fully armed police officer. Granted. But one might also point out that even for an armed police officer, going and sitting right next to an individual known to be unstable when responding to a call of his disruptive behavior might not have been the best approach.

Carrying a gun is no guarantee that you get to go home safe at the end of the day, and even if there were armed citizens in that store there is no guarantee that the outcome would have been any better. But there are no guarantees in life, and every adult understands that. A seat belt does not guarantee you’ll survive a car crash, but it betters the odds so you put it on. And short of the seat belt failing mechanically, we don’t blame the belt for a fatal car crash…we recognize the crash as being too severe for the seat belt to save the driver.
Having a gun does not guarantee you’ll survive the crash, but it can improve your odds. Panera CEO Ron Shaich wants you to leave your seat belt off. Get the message?

— Dave Cole
UPDATE: When writing this, I did not notice that the original story about Panera CEO Ron Shaich was from September of 2014. Mea culpa. However, it doesn’t really change anything…kind of like “gun free zones.”

Gun Laws: Illinois

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Gun Law weekly. Before we jump into this week’s State, Illinois, we’d like to quickly address that there were a few errors in last weeks’ article about gun laws in Texas. Thank you readers’ for pointing out those errors and this week we are working harder to provide direct links to the relevant legislature and are reading the legislature directly so that we can avoid these mistakes in the future.

 

With that being said the show must go on so without further ado: Illinois.

firearmsrack

Possession

 

To purchase a firearm of any kind in Illinois you need a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card (430 ILCS 65/2). After you obtain an FOID though you do not need to register any firearms you purchase. In purchasing a handgun however there is a 72 hour mandatory waiting period before picking up your new handgun and there is a 24 hour holding period on any rifle or shotgun before you can take possession (720 ILCS 5/24-3). If you are purchasing multiple firearms or need a gun case to transport your new firearm securely then this would be a good time to look at gun lockers and other gun storage solutions.

guncase

The requirements to obtain a FOID card are as follows:

 

  • At least 21 years old, or at least 18 with parental consent (and a parent who is eligible for a FOID card).
  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident, and
  • Eligible to obtain and possess a firearm under federal law.

 

Additionally you must not be:

 

  • A convicted felon.
  • A minor convicted of certain misdemeanors, crimes that would be felonies if committed by an adult, or who has been adjudicated delinquent,
  • Addicted to certain controlled substances, or
  • “mentally impaired” or “intellectually disabled”

 

Transportation and Carrying

 

Moving onto transporting and carrying your gun, residents of Illinois can conceal carry their handgun if they obtain a concealed carry license from the Illinois State Police. For a full list of the eligibility requirements you can visit their site here. Otherwise you are still allowed to transport your firearm as long as you meet one of the following conditions:

 

  • Are broken down in a non-functioning state.
  • Are not immediately accessible.
  • Are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid FOID Card.

 

This is not a full list, I highlighted the first three because these are the easiest to achieve. There are also additional exceptions made for hunting and target shooting in regards to transportation and open carry. To see all of conditions you can transport your firearm in see the link at the bottom of the article for 720 ILCS 5/24-1 (4). There are also location restrictions where concealed carry permit owners aren’t allowed to have their handgun. This extensive list can be found here.

 

Non-Residents

 

Non-residents are allowed to have a firearm without an FOID if it is unloaded and in a case or if they are:

 

– Hunting and has a non-resident hunting license, while in an area where hunting is permitted.

– On a target range recognized by the Department of State Police.

– At a gun show recognized by the Department of State Police.

– Currently licensed or registered to possess a firearm in his state of residence. (NRA-ILA)

 

The section of the law that deals with non-resident firearm possession referenced here is 430 ILCS 65/2, which deals with FOID Card exceptions, as is the case with most non-residents. Non-residents are allowed to obtain a Concealed Carry License so if you are frequently in Illinois this may be a good solution for you.

 

These are the basic firearm laws in Illinois. The majority of this information was found in the FOID Act, Concealed Carry Act and the Unlawful Use of Weapons Act. With interpretation help from the NRA, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Illinois State Police website.

 

Like all laws these are subject to change. There may also be county and city laws not covered in this article that change your ability to carry, transport and otherwise possess your firearm.

 

430 ILCS 65: FOID Act

 

430 ILCS 66: Firearms Concealed Carry Act

 

720 ILCS 5/24-1: Unlawful Use of Weapons Act

 

NRA-ILA Illinois

 

Illinois State Police Firearm Services Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

Option for Spare Magazine Carry – A Vital Aspect of the Concealed-Carry System (The Gideon)

The process of selecting the concealed carry firearm that is best suited for you is a daunting task to say the least. An even more monumental task might be the selection of a method of carry. Not only do discussions of such things spark heated debate among your friends and personal insults from our childish brothers and sisters, but these decisions force you to be more aware, than you ever wanted to be, of how your body shape dictates comfort. You also have to consider your wardrobe, the nature of your career, and pay close attention to the time you spend sitting and standing as you progress through your day. I apologize if this dialogue has caused you to recall the painful memory of working the kinks out of your concealed carry system, but I am happy to say that I have some good news about a vital component of your system.

 

If you have made the decision to carry a firearm, one of the things that is agreed upon, by most competent instructors, is the necessity to carry a spare magazine. The most obvious advantage to carrying a spare magazine is that it is an additional source of ammunition. Further, of all the potential complications that could occur with a firearm, the quickest and easiest to fix is a magazine problem (throw it away and grab another). With that said, there are several options available for carrying a spare magazine; IWB, OWB, and ankle just to name a few, but my favorite method is to carry it in the off-side pants pocket.

 

My pursuit to find a well-made holster for this application led me on a survey of the websites maintained by many reputable holster manufacturers. In the last few months I have used the Galco PMC Pocket Magazine Carrier and the Milt Sparks PCH-M, both of which are well made and very nice, but my personal preference between the two is the Milt Sparks holster. I can’t overstate the quality of the holster! Having said that, the problem is that at a price point of $65.50 and a wait time of up to 18 weeks, it is difficult for me to justify purchasing multiple variations of the holster to suit different firearms. My affinity to the Milt Sparks holster initiated a search for a similar product at a lower price point, which was concluded at www.crossbreedholsters.com with the discovery of The “Gideon” Pocket Mag Carrier.

 

This holster is made to fit magazines for 166 different firearms (according to my personal quick count), is available in 5 different colors, and has an approximate two-week order fulfillment time, all at a price point of $24.95! What more could I ask for?! As a fan of Crossbreed products, I had no reason to doubt the quality of the product, and therefore, ordered three different carriers. I have been carrying them in my pocket for the last 30 days, and so far, it has not disappointed. The leather and stitching are of the highest quality, and the design of the product leaves plenty of room in my pocket for additional every day necessities.

 

If you’re looking for a solid product in which to carry a spare magazine in a pocket, I can highly recommend that you consider The “Gideon” Pocket Mag Carrier as you advance in your pursuit of your ideal concealed carry system.

 

crossbreedholsters.com
crossbreedholsters.com