Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch.
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Gun owners have their work cut out for them here in the deep blue state of Illinois. Democrats have super-majorities in both the House and Senate and Governor J.B. Pritzker hasn’t met a gun control measure he opposes.

A particularly bad gun control bill, SB-1966, awaited a vote in the veto session. It had lots of powerful people behind it too. All summer long, big gun control groups lobbied relentlessly to muster to votes to pass it.

Sensing a close vote, Land of Lincoln gun owners turned out in a mini-Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day to make their voices heard and kill the bill.

If passed into law, SB-1966 would quadruple the fees for a Firearm Owner Identification card. Also, it would require state-issued identification and expensive electronic fingerprints to merely apply for a FOID card or a renewal. What’s more, it would end private gun sales in the state and make it a felony to lose a single record on a private gun sale in the past.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Guns Save Life promoted the event heavily and easily half of those present were GSL members and meeting regulars from GSL’s seven regions across the state. The Illinois Gun Owners Together group also sent a large number of people as evidenced by the plentiful IGOT shirts.

What’s more, the good guys and gals outnumbered the Moms Demand Action contingent by about 20 to 1.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Interestingly, there were almost as many men “Moms” as women.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

The good news from Tuesday: We effectively killed SB-1966. Without the votes to pass it, the sponsors won’t call it for a vote.

Nevertheless, it remains active, like a ticking time bomb, and could be called at any time until the end of the session in January 2021.

The bad news? Once January rolls around, the men and women of Bloomberg-financed Moms Demand Action will return and, under the Prairie State’s convoluted legislative rules, the bill will only require a simple majority for passage. From there, as it has already been approved in the House, it would go to the governor.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

The event kicked off with a legislative update and an outline of goals for the event. The ISRA‘s Bill Potts gave a crash course in how to lobby legislators.

As they talked about lobbying, everyone present got a first-hand look at how successfully Illinois government runs: they apparently can’t even afford to turn on all of the lights.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

From there, we took off and saturated the capitol building, meeting up with legislators and policy-makers.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Gun owners hooked up with legislators – friendly, fence-sitters (squishies, as we call them) and the not-so-friendly.  Above, Rep. Allen Skillicorn held court with an office chock full of gun owners.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Rep. Skillicorn hides his position on guns, taxes and jobs pretty aggressively.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Above, another of the good guys in Illinois government, Representative Tom Bennett, speaks to visitors.

Guns Save Life / TTAG Photos by John Boch

Yes, the gun owners no doubt triggered a few of the more delicate snowflakes in Springfield. You didn’t have to wonder where people like this man stand when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms.

It should be noted that not all Illinois Democrats share Beto O’Rourke’s “Hell yes! We’re going to take your AR-15” view on guns. In fact, a number of Illinois Democrats, especially those outside of Chicagoland, support gun rights to varying degrees. Word has it that one of those Dems, Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, did the heavy lifting to help stop the bill’s progress in the Illinois Senate.

The feds help out, too

Two or three months ago, leaders from the gun rights groups believed we might lose the vote on this bill. We weren’t counting on support from federal law enforcement, though. Since the summer, federal corruption and bribery investigations have claimed two certain “yes” votes for gun control in the Senate (and one in the House).

Democrat Senator Marty Sandoval, a close friend and ally of long-time House Speaker Michael Madigan, had his office and home raided by FBI agents in September. He’s not welcome in Springfield currently, and won’t be casting any votes for gun control in the near term.

Just last week, the Dems’ Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Luis Arroyo was arrested on corruption and bribery charges. He won’t be casting any votes in the House anytime soon either. From the Illinois Policy Institute:

State Rep. Luis Arroyo was a key supporter of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion infrastructure package, which was funded in part by a gambling expansion and doubling the state’s gas tax.

Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, had just finished lunch with a state senator on an August afternoon in Highland Park. They stepped outside to talk.

“Let’s be clear,” Arroyo allegedly told the state senator. “My word is my bond and my, my reputation.”

Federal agents were listening to Arroyo.

The state senator was wearing a wire.

Arroyo was arrested Oct. 25 and charged with bribery of a state official. According to the federal complaint, Arroyo tried to steer $2,500 a month to the unnamed state senator in exchange for backing legislation related to gambling sweepstakes. If convicted, Arroyo faces up to 10 years in prison.

The unnamed state senator to whom Arroyo allegedly floated the payments has been cooperating with investigators since 2016, when the FBI obtained evidence that the senator had submitted false income tax returns, according to the complaint.

The other senator who wore the wire? According to CapitolFax blog, it was Democrat Senate Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Terry Link. He faces his own legal woes and won’t be casting any votes in support of SB-1966 anytime soon either.

As corrupt politicians are removed from office by resignation or by handcuffs, their replacements will come into government and likely have anti-gun positions, too. But for now at least, thanks to the efforts of gun owners and friendly politicians, Prairie State residents won’t have to shell out upwards of $200 and get their fingers inked to get a FOID card so they can exercise their Second Amendment rights.

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  1. Umm, help me out. Wasn’t Illinois’ FOID card already ruled as unconstitutional? As reported all over the Web, and even here on TTAG:

    So why is it still in place? I don’t live in IL and never care to go there, so I’m not familiar with that state, though I hear it’s just as bad as my home state of CA.

    • The supreme court hasn’t decided yet. This crap hole state isn’t as bad as commiefornia but given the chance, it will be. It’s surely on its way.

      • When it comes to gun control and human feces on streets, no other state will ever catch up to CA because CA keep raising the bar…or is it lowering it?

    • Fair question:

      The attorney handling that case, David Sigale, argued that case before the Illinois Supreme Court. His oral arguments can be heard here.

      In a nutshell, he abandoned the previous decision (and Illinois 2.3m FOID holders) and narrowed his case to the individual woman. And did a pretty marginal job at that.

      But he is the Illinois State Rifle Association’s attorney and he worked on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois Carry on this case. All of the aforementioned groups refused to share the case with the far larger and more skilled legal dream team the NRA has.

      Which is why Guns Save Life filed the case challenging the FOID Act’s constitutionality.

      You can hear our attorney’s oral arguments in our appeal seeking a temporary injunction barring enforcement of the FOID Act here.

      You listen to those two cases and tell me which attorney you would rather have arguing for you.


  2. “Interestingly, there were almost as many men “Moms” as women.”

    They identify as moms. Don’t be a bigot.

  3. “Illinois Gun Owners Help Kill Fingerprinting for FOID Card Bill…For Now”

    That’s great, but now they’ll just move on the DNA sampling…you know, to bolster that nationwide database…

  4. Bad News Out of Florida; Nikki Fried is proposing changes to the Concealed Firearm License renewal system. From a press release yesterday..

    “Finally, when I pledged to clean up our state’s concealed weapons licensing program, I did so with transparency, efficiency, and accountability in mind. We’ve accomplished a big part of that. And now, we’re looking ahead to the next phase.

    Our legislation here will enhance the concealed weapons licensing program by improving the standards.

    This will include requiring fingerprint retention for all concealed weapons license renewals, so we close glaring loopholes dangerous to public safety, like out-of-state arrests.

    Reducing the renewal period from seven years to five, the maximum length for which the federal government will allow fingerprint retention.

    And requiring a concealed weapons license course at renewal, to ensure that everyone granted the statutory right of carrying concealed weapons is properly equipped to exercise that right.

    These are common-sense public safety measures. And I believe they’ll find bipartisan support in our legislature, including the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee tasked with developing new firearm safety proposals.”

    • How about mandatory written and road test for a driver’s license renewal every five years as well as finger prints. I suspect more lives would be saved.

    • Wow, did anyone notice this gem:

      … that everyone granted the statutory right of carrying concealed weapons …

      Thus, we have no inherent rights at all and government grants us what rights we do have, somehow, by government’s good graces.

      Excuse me — I have to leave my computer now and go vomit in the toilet.

    • 5 years is the max to avoid the NICS check. When FL changed from to 7 years from the previous 5 yers (4?) they lost the ability to bypass NICS. So, I’m of mixed mind on that change. Going back to 5 would allow a NICS bypass again under federal law

      • I’m not sure I follow you, Mark. In Florida, having a CWoFL doesn’t exempt you from the NICS check when purchasing a firearm from an FFL. You still have to have a NICS check, you just get to take the firearm with you after passing it. There used to be a 3 day wait for handgun purchases, which has now been extended to all firearm purchases, unless you have the carry license.

        This is about making renewing your license more troublesome, and expensive. Having to drive to the Sheriff’s office to get your new fingerprints is a hassle, even if they don’t charge for it, and having to retake the class? The NRA will LOVE all that new mandatory revenue. No doubt, the prices of classes will now go up, and Lil’ Wayne can buy some new suits.

  5. Its going to be a tough sell to myself let alone my wife if I need to pay 200 every 5/10 years just to get my FOID renewed on top of the cost of my CCW (which has yet to be issued).

    I hate this state. I really do. I moved from Chicago to Skokie because it was just too much but still being in Cook County has made buying stuff a bitch.
    I just got my first AR and i decided to start stock piling $100 of 556 and 9mm every month Target Sports USA 95/year free shipping deals was a no brainer.

      • My pleasure and I Love the name!
        where are u located. Im in Cook County just north of Chicago city limits.

    • Move. If you hate it, move.
      Some stay an fight because of various reasons, but living in a place you hate is not healthy.

      • Its not so simple. I am an orthodox jew and basically we need to be in a “Ghetto” in order to practice. walking distance to synagogue, kosher restaurants, ritual baths, schools, etc. And by ghetto i mean neighborhoods where houses start at $500k+. Our only real alternatives until the kids grow up out of day school (10 year old twins and a 4 year old monster) are LA, New York, Southern Florida, Houston…etc,. you get the Idea.
        I feel very reactionary.
        Synagogue shooting in Squirll Hill; must go get gun and gun licence.
        Democrats want to take AR’s; must go buy one before its too late.

        • you moved one mile from west rogers park to skevanston? good move, really.
          stop by 7301 n. western and ask for meat.

  6. Mr. Boch, thank you for providing this information. Looks like I really need to get off my @ss and get more active in the fight. Sending $$ to groups that actually DO the work is not enough. Thanks for all you do. This state is a mess.

    • Illinois has some of the most complacent gun owners in the country, please don’t be one of them! Come to IGOLD, call your representative and senator, and file witness slips when necessary. If just half of the 2.2 million FOID card holders would be proactive it could stop a lot of this bull chit.

      • It appears that IL already has finger prints on most of its gun owners. However, they don’t have a FOID, but they do have a criminal record.

  7. I live in Southern Illinois (the good part of the state) and I am a member of GSL. I am glad we were able to make a difference but I fear we are just using fingers to plug holes in a dam. Eventually, we will fail. We don’t stop trying though. My solution is this, I am selling my house and moving across the river to Missouri. I am done with the high taxes, I am done with my tax money supporting abortions, I am done dealing with people who frankly don’t like our constitution or way of life and want to take my guns away.

  8. This is in Illinois. That bill is not dead until the end of the veto session. Bills like this are called at 4 AM when the Senate Presidents thinks he has the votes. This has happened before and the Socialist Democrats will do it again. Don’t celebrate too soon.

  9. Even in Australia we don’t need finger prints for a firearms licence and they are 10 years in my state.

    Various antis are trying to get this changed and so far are losing. It would help if we got more than 10 to 15% membership in SSAA (our version or NRA)

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