Friday, March 20, 2015

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day, 2015

The Illinois Gun Owners Lobby day was held yesterday, the 18th of March 2015.  The idea of a gun owners lobby day has spread among the many grass roots organizations across the nation.  Over a thousand gun owners showed up at the Illinois capitol in Springfield on Wednesday.  This is not in response to a crisis involving the defense of the right.  The principle of that was won in 2013.     A shall issue law was passed in 2013, against the strong opposition of the Chicago Democrat machine, and a veto by Democrat Governor Pat Quinn.   The legislature overrode Quinn's veto.  Illinois was the last state in the nation to pass a concealed carry law.  The law was forced on a recalcitrant Chicago political system by a federal court decision.

A new, Republican Governor was elected in 2014.    Governor Bruce Rauner, won with 51% of the vote, while Quinn received 46%.  The polls had Quinn winning by a percentage point just before the election.  Governor Rauner is the first Governor who has been willing to meet with IGOLD representatives on their lobby day at the capitol.  The emphasis for Wednesday was on improving the basic shall issue concealed carry law that was passed in 2013.

The law contains a plethora of gun free zones, where the carry of legal, loaded, concealed weapons is not allowed.  There are 23 zones that prohibit effective self defense, from public transportation to museums.  From
Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg and one of the sponsors of the concealed carry law, introduced a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons at rest areas.
Phelps said the fact that more than 100,000 people are licensed with no instances of violence shows they should be allowed to protect themselves almost everywhere.

"We're showing people this works," he said. "These are law-abiding gun owners, and no one is going out like the Wild West and shooting each other."
Rep. Ed Sullivan, R-Mundelein, also wants to expand where people can legally carry. He has introduced several bills, including one that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on public transportation.

"A lot of people use public transportation," he said. "Why should they be less safe to defend themselves on public transportation than either at home or walking?"

A thousand people  who are willing to set aside an entire day in the middle of the week to lobby legislators, when there is no crises being hawked by the old media, is extraordinary.  Even with the assistance of media outlets, Michael Bloomberg's organizations, such as MOMs demanding Action or Everytown, seldom produce turnouts of more than a couple of dozen. 

Illinois has had over 100,000 permits issued since 2013.  There have not been any problems with the permit holders.  This follows the usual pattern in states that have passed shall issue laws.  If Illinois continues on the trend, incremental improvements to the law will make the permit easier to obtain, and reduce the number of "gun free zones" mandated by law.

 ©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a great day. We need to work hard to improve attendance in future years.

Many thanks to the Illinois State Rifle association, Sangamon County Rifle Association, Guns Save Life, Illinois Carry, and everyone else who made it possible.

We were an impressive group, respectful to the state government and the legislators who work for us. This is why we are winning in Illinois.