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IGOLD Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day
Guns Save Life’s Chicagoland Regional Director Alfreda Keith-Keller, right, enjoys sharing a momentary lead in this year’s march to the state capitol.

Gun owners in Illinois stepped up to the plate for the 11th annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day.  Thankfully, not even a steady drizzle or cool temperatures could contain gun owner enthusiasm at Wednesday’s event. The People of the Gun eagerly took time off work and school to remind Illinois legislators that gun owners matter.

The Illinois State Rifle Association sponsors IGOLD. Working in conjunction with Guns Save Life and a number of smaller grassroots groups, IGOLD brings a sea of gun owners into the capitol complex. Each year, the event shows how, by working together, we can do great things to defend and promote our gun rights.

This year’s rally comes on the heels of relentless lobbying in Abe Lincoln’s hometown from gun control advocates. Unfortunately, those demanding Moms, the ones who haven’t gotten much action in Washington, DC, have come to Springfield seeking a much-needed political win. So too have the Brady Campaign and Gabby Giffords’s groups.

Even casual observers can smell their desperation. Remember last November? Crushing electoral defeats have left gun control groups nationwide gasping for any success they can find, no matter how small. Without the publicity of gun control wins, their funding will continue to decline. No funding equals no jobs for them.

Rhonda Ezell, the plaintiff in the successful civil rights lawsuit against Chicago’s prohibition on public shooting ranges, poses with her grand-daughter Marley ahead of the event.

So 2A opponents have turned to the states for wins and deep blue Illinois has caught their eye. Nearly a dozen gun control groups are now operating in Illinois. Since January, they’ve pounded the Prairie State’s fair-weather gun rights supporters, causing a few to defect. Those mostly suburban Chicagoland politicians foolishly fall for the siren song of gun control along with Everytown’s pledges of future support at the polls and other dubious claims.

On the flip side, generally pro-gun downstate Illinois Democrat senators have felt the heat from gun rights groups.    Senate President John “Stonewall” Cullerton, a Chicagoland Democrat, has blocked pretty much all of our pro-gun bills. This year’s IGOLD rally served to help keep up the pressure on him to allow a free and fair vote on our bills.

From left, the NRA-ILA’s liaison Shannon Alford, NRA-ILA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, GSL President Steve Davis and member Dave Blaskey share a laugh ahead of the event.


Preparing for the march with volunteer-made signs, courtesy of Mark the sign guy.

Congratulations to all involved for a job well done. For showing their strength to the legislature and having fun whild doing it, Illinois gun owners are TTAG’s Gun Heroes of the Day.


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  1. I attended this a few years ago, hopefully I’ll get a chance to do it again. It was well organized and well planned. It’s easy to be a keyboard commando for gun rights but actual sacrifice is required to accomplish anything significant. It’s great to see ISRA and GSL working together on this.

    Illinois now has over 2 million FOID cardholders. That’s easily more than 25% of the state’s adult population. And it’s important to remind policymakers that we vote, and we vote for our rights.

    • “Illinois now has over 2 million FOID cardholders.”

      I wonder how many tens of thousands of old codgers have firearms and NO accompanying FOID card?

      • Plenty…I’m an old Illinois -not quite a codger- with a FOID. But I have a friend(who’s 66) who owns several guns I KNOW has no FOID. Bought several from a church “friend” who’s a dealer. I guarantee downstate Illinois has lots of unknown gats…

      • Many years ago, I let my FOID card lapse for several years. I owned a few guns that I never shot, but my wife had her own FOID and I figured I could just say they all belonged to her.

        For those who actually shoot, it’s tough to not have a FOID because you need one to buy ammo in Illinois.

        • Other than one box bought in Illinois I’ve NEVER used my FOID to buy ammo unless I wanted a discount in Cabelas Indiana. Buying ammo in Cook County is horrific on so many(expensive)$ …

  2. “…demanding Moms, the ones who haven’t gotten much action in Washington, DC…”
    Or much of anywhere else for that matter, just look at most of them, or don’t if it hurts your eyes too much! Oh, that wasn’t what you meant…..sorry.


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