It’s been a busy month for Dan Eldridge, the owner of Maxon’s Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines, Illinois. Gun sales have been soaring over the past few weeks as lawmakers raced to enact a ban on “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, with Eldridge seeing handgun sales at his shop double and rifle sales nearly 10 times what they were a year ago.
Today, however, is a new day in Illinois, and Eldridge is just as busy talking to attorneys and media outlets like Bearing Arms as he is dealing with customers; some of whom have no idea that the Democrats in Springfield just criminalized the sale of commonly-owned firearms and magazines. Eldridge carved out a few minutes to join me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to discuss the next steps for Second Amendment groups, gun owners, and firearms retailers like himself.. as well as to deliver a few choice words to the gun prohibitionists who enacted the ban.
“What we have right now is a legislature and governor gleefully acting in defiance of the United States Supreme Court on a civil rights issue,” Eldridge tells Bearing Arms, adding, “Congratulations, Illinois. I think if you squint hard enough you can just make out Gov. Orval Faubus standing on the schoolhouse steps in Little Rock, can’t you?”
Eldridge isn’t the only Second Amendment advocate to invoke the specter of “Massive Resistance” on the part of southern Democrats in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ordered the desegregation of public schools, which saw not only governors like Arkansas’s Orval Faubus bar the doors to Central High School in Little Rock rather than accept the Court’s decision, but led to school districts like Prince Edward County, Virginia to completely shut down the public schools for several years instead of proceeding with integration.
Massive Resistance in the 1950s and 60s was directed against one class of American citizens in an attempt to curtail the full flower of their civil rights, while today’s iteration is directed at all Americans wanting to exercise one specific right, but the comparison is still an apt one given the flagrant violations of fundamental rights that we’re talking about here. And just as Massive Resistance failed to keep Jim Crow on life support, Eldridge believes this latest attempt to subvert the Supreme Court is also destined to end in defeat.
Eldridge serves on the board of the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois; a trade group of gun stores from around the state that he says is already preparing to challenge the new law in court. Eldridge tells Bearing Arms that the organization will be joined by the Aurora Sportsman’s Club (the largest gun club in the state, according to Eldridge), state-level 2A group Guns Save Life, as well as a number of manufacturers, distributors, and FFLs when they file suit in federal court, which he says will likely happen before the end of the week.
“There’s another group that’s filing in state court on the procedural stuff, and that’s great. We’ll simply flood the zone here, and we will win. We’ll win quickly, and we’ll have a substantial war chest to go after other things,” Eldridge confidently predicted. “I believe, Cam, that this is the high-water mark for gun control advocates in Illinois.”
Well, we already know that it’s a new low for the anti-gunners, but let’s hope that the new ban enacted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ultimately looked back on as both the biggest and shortest-lived victory for opponents of our Second Amendment rights in Illinois history.
Besides the court action, Eldridge says he expects to see some passive resistance and civil disobedience to the newly enacted gun and magazine bans; particular in downstate Illinois, where he says there are at least four counties that have already passed resolutions vowing not to spend a penny of public funds enforcing the gun or magazine ban provisions. If state lawmakers are going to defy the Supreme Court, it looks like there are going to be plenty of communities in Illinois willing to defy Springfield’s edict to criminalize the exercise of a civil right.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Dan Eldridge in the video window below, and visit the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois if you want to help support their legal fight against these flagrantly unconstitutional infringements on a fundamental civil right.