One of our Guns Save Life members forwarded us a link to a Project Vote Smart candidate position survey from 1998 for Illinois State Senator Michael Frerichs (D-52).
In the survey, Frerichs checked the box for “Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms” while leaving the box for “Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms” unchecked.
We at Guns Save Life recognize that Frerichs has generally been a supporter of gun rights, although he almost always couches his support with plenty of wiggle room. For instance, in the times we’ve discussed right to carry with Sen. Frerichs, he says he would support a carry bill that had solid training requirements, thorough background investigations and the support of law enforcement.
This form from 1998 tells a very different story, omitting any reference to support to allowing Illinois residents the same right afforded citizens of 49 other states.
In any event, we think it’s fair for politicians to grow and mature over their political careers when it comes to learning the truth about guns and proven benefits of firearm ownership and possession when it comes to deterring criminal attack. Perhaps this change from 1998 is Frerichs’ personal beliefs changing as he more fully recognizes and supports firearm rights. Or, perhaps he’s a fair-weather friend of gun owners.
In either event, we would encourage our members to double check with Senator Frerichs about his position on right-to-carry in Illinois for themselves before casting their vote November 6th.
We do know that John Bambenek, Frerichs’ opponent in the 52nd Senate race has been a dues-paying member of Guns Save Life for quite some time, is strongly supportive of civil rights – particularly where it comes to self-defense rights – and has been a featured speaker at one of our meetings on a topic completely unrelated to politics or his campaign.