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Illinois Legislative Update from John Boch

April 10, 2018


by John Boch
Guns Save Life’s Executive Director

The Illinois General Assembly has now returned to finish the spring session.  A couple of weeks ago, it looked as though Illinois Democrats were going to finish off Illinois gun owners’ rights as well, with the help of a few Republicans.  I've compared notes on the changing landscape with the NRA-ILA's Illinois liaison John Weber and here's an update:

Fortunately, your calls and contacts, coupled with the lobbying efforts of the pro-gun side have started to have an impact.  Some of the hysteria-driven support has dropped off for the multitude of gun bills in Illinois.  Word has it that some of the bills that passed easily the first time no longer have the bi-partisan support they initially enjoyed for the required concurrence votes.  

What’s causing this?  Individual gun owners making lots of contacts, setting up appointments to see their elected officials, and some of the hysteria wearing off with the passage of time.  

Of note here:  Phone calls and emails are nice.  But the gun control advocates, sensing blood in the water, have been appearing individually and in groups at legislative offices on an almost daily basis for weeks now.  In-person visits make far more of an impression with legislators and their staffs.  Are you retired or have a Tuesday or Wednesday off work when you can travel to Springfield by yourself or with a friend or three?  Especially if you can set up an appointment to sit down and speak with your state representative or senator. That right there beats a whole lot of phone calls.

Some of our GSL members have visited offices and report great results educating some of these politicians.  Most of these lawmakers don’t have our in-depth knowledge about guns or gun rights.  With a little education, in many cases earlier tepid support for these gun control measures has been converted to opposition.

These politicians often don’t know that Illinois does daily background checks on FOID holders using both criminal and mental health records.  Illinois already has a strong mental health mandated reporting act as well.  Frankly, reporters I’ve talked with don’t know these things either.  Education does wonders for both pols and reporters.

Kudos to GSL’s exceptionally active members making these appointments and in-person contacts.  You all deserve a higher place in heaven!

What else has worked against Illinois' Chicagoland Democrats pushing so hard for all this gun control?  In a nutshell, they got greedy.  They added amendments to some of their bills that passed handily in one chamber, counting on continued support on concurrence votes back in the originating chamber.  Now, that support has wavered under an intense barrage of phone calls.

In fact, the NRA-ILA has blanketed the entire State of Illinois with mailers and it’s overwhelmed the House Clerk’s offices with phone calls.  "Overwhelmed" as in "shut it down."  That intense response is what moves the needle in our direction on these votes.

Why this spring’s push for gun control?  It’s simple:  Making headlines about gun control provides a nice distraction from all the sexual harassment scandals endangering Illinois Democrats – including House Speaker Michael Madigan himself.  

Sexual harassment scandal upends statehouse

Amid growing sexual harassment scandal, General Assembly passes legislative ethics reform package

Madigan releases list of 9 misconduct complaints, but number could be higher

Yeah, gun control headlines read a lot better back home for Chicagoland Democrats than more headlines like those above covering the sexual harassment issues in their offices.

So make those calls – or better yet, visit those offices personally.  Call the House Clerk at 217 782-8223 and urge opposition to HB-1664, HB-1469, HB-1465, and HB-1467.  Call the Secretary of the Senate at 217 782-5715 and urge them to sustain the governor’s veto of SB-1657 and HB-1273.

When you call Governor Rauner’s office (217 782-0244), you may be limited to one call per phone line, so make it a generic message.  Give your name, tell him to “please veto the gun control bills” then give your zip code so they know you live in Illinois. 
Rest assured the national gun control groups will have their people nationwide calling Rauner to urge him to sign those bills.  

Illinois Democrats, buoyed by their earlier successes, will likely offer more bills to ban private transfers of firearms and forcibly confiscate standard capacity mags.  

Make plans to attend the Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day:  April 25, 2018.  Meet your state rep and senator to let them put your face to your name.  .


4 Responses to Illinois Legislative Update from John Boch

  1. george b on April 10, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Both my state rep and my state senator are pro-gun but I still make calls. 

  2. Brent Harney on April 10, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Currently deployed to the middle east in support of Operation Spartan Shield, but am ther with you guys at IGOLD in spirit, and will be with you in person next year, when I return.

    Keep up the fight for our rights.

    SGT Brent Harney

    • GSL & NRA Sheepdog on April 10, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      May God bless you and watch over you. Thank you for your service and sacrifices!

  3. Tim on April 10, 2018 at 2:13 pm

     I am available to go with anyone else that needs someone to go with them in a group. Please let me know.