Thousands of Prairie State gun owners braved very cold temperatures and wind-chills in Springfield to march seven blocks to the Illinois State Capitol building to promote gun rights and self-defense on Wednesday, March 5th.

It was the eighth annual IGOLD event, sponsored by the Illinois State Rifle Association, in conjunction with, Guns Save Life, the Sangamon County Rifle Association and the McHenry County Right to Carry Association.   In a nation where gun control advocates cannot even turn out more than a dozen agitators to promote civilian disarmament, the IGOLD rally is a prime example of what genuine grassroots activism is all about.

Participants met at the Prairie Capital Convention Center (posted “No Guns” by the way), where speakers charged up the audience, and gave them instructions for successful participation.

Best estimates put the crowd this year at roughly 2,000, down sharply from last year.  It was still two orders of magnitude better than our opposition’s best recent turnout for an event.

From the PCCC, participants staged just outside prior to the seven-block trek while shout chants under the direction of Sangamon County Rifle Association’s Tom Shafer about who we were (“Illinois Gun Owners Marching By…”) and what we wanted (a host of things Shafer rattled off for the audience to chant).

There was no missing us. Between the police escort shutting off traffic, to the sea of yellow-clad protesters, big banner signs, to the loud chants led by Sangamon County’s Tom Shafer, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that gun owners are a political force to be reckoned with.

Once at the capitol, there were a couple of short speeches.

Given the wind chills, the crowd wasn’t in the mood for bloviating.


Once inside, we handed out position cards to House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and to each participant’s respective senator and representative.

There was no denying those stacks of cards were real.

GSL’s Dan Sadler gives his postcard to a representative of House Speaker Michael Madigan during the IGOLD event. Notice the thick stack of cards the staff member took over a period of minutes.



19 thoughts on “Eighth annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day a success”
  1. Jon, since my health doesnt let me travel was there any mention of repealing the FOID card or rolling back of some of these gun laws?

    1. Plenty of mention.

      Little if anything is going to pass this spring. There’s no appetite for more gun bills.

      The only thing that’s a sure bet for passage is Sullivan’s bill to send fraudulent trainers to jail and permanently revoke their IL CCW instructor credentials.

      Todd said a trailer bill on CCW might pass come April, but the items covered in that bill would be minutiae.


    2. Thanks for your reply Jon. Its a shame the general assembly is so full of un-American people. The law mandating anyone with a State license to define a persons future by declaring them mentally ill is insane. The IDHS should never have been allowed to have that data base.

  2. Thanks to all who went.

    Start planning now for next year. For those of you who were not there today, that means YOU.

    YES, you need to go.

    YES, idiots are out there trying to pass laws to make us register every gun we own.

    YES, idiots in states that have already passed registration are moving towards confiscation.

    YES, we did win Concealed Carry last year, although it’s a pretty poor law as far as right to carry laws go.

    YES, one of the main reasons we won that last year and we have not followed the idiots in Conn., NY, Colorado, and Maryland is that fact that 8,000 or more gun owners showed up in Springfield LAST year.

    YES, if they think they can get away with it, the lawmakers will come back with stupid laws – and pass them.

    YES, it IS important for you to make your voice heard – now, next year, and every year.

    God willing, I’ll see you in Springfield next March!

    1. I’m with you 100%. The anti’s had to be heartened by the low turnout. Now is not the time to be complacent. The lawmakers will get to thinking that their work for us is done.

  3. The young man taking cards for Madigan was turned to his left when I approached Madigans office. Because of that I didn’t realise what he was doing and started to walk past him into Madigan’s office. I was immediatley corrected by the Capitol Police Officer stationed at the door to give my card to the young man. God forbid someone like me should defile Madigan’s office with my brief presense.

  4. If it would have been on Jan 5 there would have been a lot less people attenting. If April or May 5th I imagine a lot more would have attended. For future scheduling I believe attendance would be greatest if hottest and coldest months are avoided. My thanks to all who went.

    1. You’re absolutely correct in that assessment.

      However, other factors enter in.

      Jan. 5 the session probably hasn’t started yet.

      By May 5, a lot of bad legislation could already have passed. We need to be there before that happens to remind them what we want.

      Yes, it was a bit chilly, slightly uncomfortable a 1 pm when we started marching.

      It was also chilly at 3 am on April 19, 1775, when many colonists in the Boston area got the word, through Paul Revere and William Dawes, that the Regulars were out, heading for Concord to confiscate guns and powder.

      They didn’t hesitate. They got up out of their warm beds, and began to march, not 7 blocks, but often up to 20 miles.

      They got up and brought their guns with them, not knowing if they would actually need to use them or not.

      They got up and marched, not knowing if they would still be citizens in good standing, or guilty of treason and subject to hanging at the end of the day. If they survived.

      They marched to Punkatasset Hill, a mile or so from the center of Concord. As they watched the smoke rise from the center of town, in what they could only assume was the regulars burning their town, someone asked, “Are we just going to stand here while they burn the town?”

      They looked for someone to lead them into town, into a possible confrontation with the British Regulars. Issac Davis, who had left his wife and four sick children at 3 am to march the five miles to Concord with his men from Acton, looked around and said, “I have not a man who is afraid to go”.

      And he went.

      And he was the first to fall at Concord Bridge, on the first true day of American Independence.

      We’re not being asked for that kind of sacrifice. But we can honor the people who gave us our great country by showing up and letting the Legislature know what we want.

      Even if it’s cold.

      Even if we have to skip a day of work or school.

      Even if we have to get up at oh dark 30 to catch a bus.

      I hope each and every one of you who reads this can commit in your heart that you will do something, today, this month, this year, next year – to preserve Liberty.

    2. Good history to be learned and never forgotten there John.

      Now if we can get the people to wake up and fight for what is right.

  5. John, Thanks for the words of encouragement from the stage. I went to the Stratton Bldg first, but went thru basement to the Capitol. I walked to the 3rd floor of the Capitol and when I arrived, Mike Madigan just came out of the assembly room with smiles on his face & his entourage. The minute he saw me in my ISRA RSO shirt and the others in IGOLD T’s, his expression change went from happy to sad in an instant. I was happy to make his day!

  6. Once again, just like last year, I see no mention of it in the News-Gazette. However, they did manage to have a story today about a handful of students turning out to picket in favor of insurance coverage for sex change surgery. That paper is getting to be nothing but a useless rag, good for nothing more than bird cage lining.

  7. I just want to thank everyone who went. I had been planning on going but I had something going on at work and couldn’t get out of it. Sad to see,for whatever reason, that attendence was down. Still,it was an impressive showing compared to anti gatherings. Also. it is good to see that the citizens of Illinois are still “talking” with their CCW and FOID applications!

    I understand the timing of the event and I also understand people wanting to do this in warmer weather… To this I say, like the number of rounds you can put in a magazine, there should never be a limit on how many times you can march on Springfield!

  8. In order to resolve a problem, one must first admit what the problem is. It wasn’t weather. It wasn’t apathy or a lack of caring and it wasn’t even a lack of will to fight.

    Attendence was down “sharply” because people are pissed off at what took place. ISRA did a poll where over 90% were openly AGAINST licensing. Yet the ISRA went and supported a licensing bill. Many folks understand that “leadership” let them down and after last years trickery they have simply decided to walk away.

    Why stand up to fight alongside the NRA and it’s affiliates when in the moment it matters most those very groups partner with the very democrats who aim to stomp every right possible? When they just fold and offer the se old trite excuse of “it coulda been worse”. How can they know that when they NEVER ACTUALLY STAND AND FIGHT?

    I went to every IGOLD before this one. I know a great many others who refused to go this year also – in direct protest of the self proclaimed “leaders”.

    1. Oh, Mr. Ray-o-Sunshine:

      With help like yours, we wouldn’t need the Brady Campaign.

      Attendance was down because a great many who went last year said, “We got CCW. Why do we need to go anymore?”

      How do I know?

      Because John Gahm called about thirty who were on last year’s bus who weren’t signed up this year. When asked why they weren’t going, they all said the above.

      None of them said they weren’t going because they are indignant that they need a CCW license to carry in IL.


    2. Why do we need to go? How about because of CT, NY, MD, ETC?

      I don’t go in for the two party system…. I think its crap but if you look, even two of the *Republican* candidates for Captain Of The Sinking Ship That Is Illinois, have said they are pro gun ban. Even the Lesser Of Two Evils Party needs to be reminded of Shall Not Be Infringed!

  9. This was my first year attending IGOLD. The rally and parade were inspirational. The capitol experience was less than exceptional. Being in the same building with a bunch of gun hating liberals was difficult. This exactly why we need to continue to be a force in Illinois politics. Reminding our elected officials of our rights will be an ongoing process. I will be back next year.

  10. John,
    I made it again this year, was worried about the cold, the week before they were calling for 20deg. for yesterday and I was dissapointed because I didn’t think I could handle it that cold, thank God it got up to the mid 30’s and I was determined to go. I didn’t think it was as uncomfortable as last year during the walk to the Capital.
    I was glad to be able to make it to add to the numbers in attendance. Thank you for including the God in your comments on stage, If the Lord be with us, who will be able to be against us? No one!

    Thank you all who put this together and for your tireless efforts fighting for our Freedoms, I do what I can and it seems minimal but I try and add to the participants and enjoy the company I have in those efforts.

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