Yesterday, the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day event took place in Springfield. Over 1500 good guys and gals turned out, rallied and then marched to the capitol building. Once there, they lobbied to successfully kill any chance of an over-ride of Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Gun Retailer Licensing bill.
The event kicked off at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. The assembled faithful got a little inspiration from gun rights leaders and a couple of politicians. In addition, at least two young people shared their love for freedom, liberty and the shooting sports. One in particular noted that David Hogg doesn’t represent many people in his school.
From the Convention Center, folks queued up outside for the march. Organizers secured a march permit with a police escort so marchers didn’t interfere with the local mass transit buses.
With temperatures in the 60s and fair skies, the weather was ideal for a marching.
The march and its sea of gold spanned over three city blocks in length as it made its way to the Illinois Capitol building.
(Click here for the high resolution version.)
Once on the capitol steps, a couple of additional speakers addressed the crowd. From there, participants made their way into the capitol complex using multiple entrances to make their way past the security screening. After all, Illinois’ many gun control-friendly legislators like to legislate under the protection of armed guards. Gun control is for the little people, you know.
Contrast the IGOLD throng with the photo below sent to me by a Guns Save Life member of the “March for our Lives” rally on March 23rd:
IGOLD day, April 25th, also marked the final day for Illinois Democrats to attempt to over-ride Governor Rauner’s veto of the Gun Retailer Licensing bill. From the State Journal-Register:
Plans to override gun dealer licensing veto fizzle
An effort to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of gun dealer licensing legislation fell apart in the Illinois Senate Wednesday, the last day it could be called.
State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, the bill’s sponsor, did not even attempt to call for an override vote ahead of the deadline. Though Harmon said he was confident he had the necessary 36 votes in the Senate, enough support did not materialize in the House.
“While I am confident that I had the votes in the Senate to override the veto, I could not assure my colleagues that the House would vote against the governor, particularly given his vociferous and unreasonable opposition to this measure,” Harmon said.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Senator Harmon didn’t have the 36 votes needed in the Senate to over-ride the veto. He had worked for over two weeks and he failed. And his allies faced an even bigger bigger obstacle in the House.
Why? In the past four or six weeks, gun owners across Illinois have started to fight back. In a full-court press, we’ve buried legislators and staff members with calls, emails and visits. One staffer said that she went out for a quick lunch last week and returned to 56 voice mails on the office phone line. “Please make it stop,” she pleaded.
Only your boss can make it stop, ma’am.
On the final day to attempt an over-ride, Senator Harmon had no desire to press for a vote. Certainly not with over 1500 gun owners in town to remind their legislators that votes have consequences come election time. What’s more, many squishy legislators and fence-sitters did not want to take the chance of going on record in support of doomed gun control legislation.
So Harmon let his beloved, comprehensive gun control bill die. The defeat spells bad news for Harmon and his allies on other anti-gun bills facing Illinoisans as well.
These bills include making it a felony for anyone under 21 to use or possess standard capacity magazines or many semi-auto firearm. Other bills include bans on “high capacity” magazines and body armor.
Now those bills face an uncertain future thanks to angry gun owners becoming active in the fight to preserve their constitutional rights.