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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.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer 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.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

Above, Rhonda Ezell (left) of Ezell v. Chicago fame, poses with Dawn Waters, a chapter leader of The Well Armed Woman group.

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.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

With temperatures in the 60s and fair skies, the weather was ideal for a marching.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

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.)

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

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.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

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:

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day Helps Kill Dealer Licensing Bill!

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.


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  1. Way to go! I wish I could afford to travel to Springfield and join in the fun…it never ends especially if Jabba the PRICKster gets anointed.

    • I offered you and anyone in Chicagoland area or on I-55 a ride. Not one taker. I drove my 12 person van to Springfield empty.
      I’m on the main picture…somewhere lost in background.

      • i would have taken you up…. just the air fare half way around the world to get there 🙁
        at least your legislatures listen a bit more to the gun owners than here in australia. the largest ever protest marches in australia were over our NFA that little johnny brown jackboot pushed in 1996. well over 800,000 people marched out of a population of only roughly 22 million at the time

  2. Well done! Glad they are pushing back! I wish we had similar well organized marches elsewhere, like Florida. Maybe we can still wrangle one together in the fall election season or during legislation season.

  3. Thanks for all your help down in Springfield, John. That bill had disaster written all over it. It was nothing more than an attempt to shut down gun stores. I’m sure not one of these senators ever paid a visit to a gun store at least none of the senators from the northern part of the state. If they did, they would see how strict they are in conducting their sales. The senators and average citizens do not realize that any foul-ups can cost them their FFL. Many of these stores are family businesses and have been in the family for years. That’s why the big box exception was so maddening and shame on springfield and rock river for being a part of it.

  4. Harmon is using a shell bill to bring this legislation back from the dead. Yesterday was a good day. We are going to have to be vigilant all of our days.
    I met Rhonda yesterday, she is the energizer bunny of the Illinois 2A supporters.

  5. The other thing I should mention is that most of us had to use vacation time and pay our own food and fuel bill. Unlike the moms, who are paid for by Bloomberg and Soros.

  6. In a full-court press [over the past four to six weeks], 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.

    California, having at least three times the population of Illinois and even worse firearm laws, should have no trouble mounting 5 times the response that the people of Illinois put together. And yet, when I have suggested this, everyone says that the politicians in California will not care about the crush of petitions and will ignore firearm owners. Why does 1/5 that number of petitions seems to work in Illinois then?

    • The Governor in Illinois is a Republican (who already vetoed the bill). These people in Illinois had a decent chance of defeating the override. Californians don’t have a snow balls chance in hell.

      • How do we KNOW if we don’t even try???

        I have to believe that even just 50,000 people incessantly calling, e-mailing, and physically mailing their demands that California repeal the majority of their heinous firearm laws would work.

        And remember, those 50,000 people don’t have to call every politician in the California Assembly and Senate: they only have to call a few key Democrats.

        This should be totally doable since 50,000 people only represents about 0.5% of the firearm owners in California. If 0.5% of the firearm owners in California cannot be bothered to call, e-mail, and send physical mail a few times a day for a couple weeks to restore their rights, they must not want their rights back very much.

  7. Outstanding job, John!
    I hope people are drawing the lines between the work you’ve been doing for years, to the reporting you did here at ttag, to the continual lobbying efforts you’ve made to make people aware of the issue and rallied support for the Second Amendment.
    Good job sir.

  8. I would have made it 1501 people in town if I had more than this morning’s notice.
    One bill down, a bunch more to go….

    Suck it, Rohm. Your opinion isn’t as sacred as you want it to be.

    • All members of Illinois State Rifle Association got e-mail reminder well in advance. So did members of Guns Save Lives and other Illinois shooter’s organizations. Are you not member of any local gun rights organization? If not, why?

  9. John Boch, if Illinois was a kingdom, you would be worthy of a knighthood.

    Of course, Illinois isn’t a kingdom. Only Chicago is.

  10. While im glad this didnt pass, and good on the people that marched, im done with illinois. House is on the market, the wife and i have jobs lined up in Tennessee, and we are out.

    • Yes, living in Illinois sucks after living in 2nd Amendment freely states. This is good for the gun dealers and firearms owners in the state, but the other 10 or 11 bills have not been sent to the our governor in Illinois for veto that the Chicago Democrats have pushed through the House and Senate. It is just a waiting game for us 2nd Amendment supporters in Illinois right now. The Chicago Democrats are just waiting now for the November governors election. The election will be the deciding factor on these 12 gun control bills in Illinois, which will only be resubmitted if Chicago Democratic Billionaire Pritzker wins over incumbent Republican Gov. Rauner.

  11. To be fair, the March Against Our Rights happened on a nasty rainy day, and those Marchers only march when it’s convenient to them.

  12. As an unfortunate resident of Illinois, I APPLAUD the supporters and those who marched!! Unable to make the trip to Springfield, I followed the march closely and although I know the battle isn’t over, this is a good display to let these lying, self-serving idiots in government know that we are NOT going to shut up, sit down or go away!! I despise everything these people in government represent, especially the utter hypocrisy displayed when dealing with the subject of the 2nd Amendment. They will never take LEGALLY-owned firearms from LEGAL firearm owners…maybe when HELL freezes over!! My question is this…WHY do they ALL have ARMED SECURITY 24 hrs a day?? Most people own guns, not because they want to commit crimes but for defense of person and property, and I DON’T trust Democrat politicians….never have and never will!! Just look at the major hellhole cities in this country…ALL run by Democrats. I am a firm believer that if they try to take our 2nd Amendment rights, it won’t be long before they also take our 1st Amendment rights!! Hitler, Stalin, Mao-TseTung, Pol Pot…..ALL forcefully took guns from the public as one of their very first steps to controlling them, and MILLIONS died as a result. Myself along with millions of others will see these politicians in Hell before they disarm law-abiding citizens!!!

  13. Here is a list of Bills still in play in Illinois on gun control. It really is not over till the governor votes all of these, but Chicago Democrats will just resubmit these and others.

    Senate Bill 1657 and House Bill 1273, Dead for now.

    House Bill 1465, would deny law-abiding young adults under the age of 21 their Second Amendment rights by prohibiting them from possessing or purchasing commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and .50 BMG caliber rifles. The bill would require adults under the age of 21 to dispose of such firearms within 90 days and to dispose of standard capacity magazines over ten rounds in capacity immediately. In addition, language in the bill would prohibit out-of-state visitors from being present in Illinois for no longer than 24 hours with such firearms or standard capacity magazines.

    House Bill 1467, It would ban bump stocks and trigger cranks. It would require owners of bump stocks and trigger cranks to dispose of them within 90 days.

    House Bill 1468, would require a 72 hour waiting period for certain commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and .50 BMG caliber rifles. Current Illinois law requires a 72 hour waiting period for handguns and a 24 hour waiting period for long guns. House bill 1468 to impose a 72-hour waiting period on modern semi-automatic firearms is currently sitting on Gov. Rauner’s desk. Hopefully, the governor will veto this.

    House Bill 1469, would ban standard capacity ammunition magazines over 10 rounds in capacity. This bill has no grandfather clause allowing owners of these magazines to keep them, and would instead require that they be disposed of within 90 days.

    House Amendment 1 to House Bill 1470, would arbitrarily limit law-abiding citizens to one handgun purchase a month.

    House Bill 1664, sponsored by Representative Deb Conroy (D-46), would direct the state police to create a Dangerous Persons Hotline to allow anyone to report individuals who they think present a clear and present danger to themselves or others and who own a firearm without any evidence required.

    Senate Bill 2314, would repeal the firearm preemption law that has been in place since 2013. Preemption law helped pave the way for Illinois to have concealed carry. But, Chicago Democrats gave cities 10 days to put in bans for certain magazines and firearms before the deadline to be exempt during the 10 day window.

    Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2340 will impose broad and vague requirements that far exceed federal law on firearm components. It would prohibit the possession of raw, unfinished receivers, firing pins, and barrels or build components by individuals who are non-FOID card holders.

    Senate Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2343, and Senate Bill 2247, would make it a non-probationable Class 2 felony with a minimum sentence of three years imprisonment to merely sell, manufacture, purchase, possess, or carry certain firearm accessories. If these accessories are attached to a loaded firearm, it would be a Class X felony punishable by 6-30 years imprisonment.

    I know I have left some out, but there are a lot of bills. It really is not over.

    Source: NRA ILA

  14. “Other bills include bans on “high capacity” magazines and body armor.”

    Nothing displays more clearly that the antis don’t hate guns, they hate you, than when they try to ban body armor. In what universe can *armor* be considered an offensive weapon?

  15. My heartiest congratulations to the assembled gun owners of Illinois! At the same time though, I must extend a dire warning to NOT relax their efforts. Like a bad smell from a cattle feed-lot, the gun grabbers will be return. We have a lot of threats to our liberty these days from islam (I refuse to capitalize the word) to local taxes on needful items. None of them ever go completely away. Unless we utilize the tactic Rome finally used against Carthage and totally annihilate every vestige of each of the threats (an impossibility) we will have to be prepared to return to this battle time and again. With even more people like these Illinois gun owners though, we can hope for more results like what we celebrate here. Congratulations again!


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