The NRA-ILA's Shannon Alford, left, watches as Todd Vandermyde, left, and Senator Gary Forby testify in favor of suppressor legalization in Illinois yesterday in Springfield. Photo by John Boch.


The Illinois senate is set for a final concurrence vote on suppressor legalization for civilians in Illinois.  The vote came about after a surprise hearing yesterday in Springfield.  Guns Save Life was there, working with Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA's contract lobbyist in Illinois.  The NRA-ILA's Illinois liaison Shannon Alford flew in as well.  Richard Pearson, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association joined us as we worked together as a team to defeat the ammo serialization bill and the latest dealer licensing scheme.  Those hearings never happened, but our trip wasn't wasted as the anti-gun Senate leadership tried to sneak in a hearing on suppressor legalization.   It passed out of that hearing by the thinnest of margins.

The final vote today will be close, and while calls might be helpful, it's more likely the senators will be on the floor pretty much all of this afternoon.  We'll let you know how the vote goes, or you can follow it at the website:  Senate Bill 206.

Here's what happened on at the Capitol building yesterday, reprinted from The Truth About Guns.

It was only a few years ago that the Illinois General Assembly legalized the use of suppressors for state and local law enforcement. Yesterday, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action took the lead role in helping nudge forward a bill to allow civilian ownership and use of suppressors through a hostile Illinois Senate Judiciary committee so it can get a free and fair final concurrence vote on the floor of the Senate for final approval.

Senate Bill 206 would allow suppressors for all gun owners in Illinois, not just those in law enforcement. Illinois stands as the only state between the coasts that prohibits civilian ownership of what are in essence mufflers for guns.

Along with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Gary Forby (D), Todd Vandermyde, the NRA-ILA’s dedicated man in Illinois testified before the committee, but he wasn’t alone. The NRA-ILA’s Illinois liaison Shannon Alford sat right behind him and I was close by as well, as Guns Save Life‘s Executive Director. The Illinois State Rifle Association‘s Executive Director Richard Pearson was there along with Whitney O’Daniel from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

toddshannonThe NRA-ILA’s Todd Vandermyde and Shannon Alford at work.

There's more about what happened yesterday.  You can read the whole thing at The Truth About Guns.  I have to say, as a newbie at the lobbying game, there's a lot of skullduggery that happens in Springfield.  Committee hearings where bills scheduled don't get called, suprise hearings, and a whole lot more…

Here's the takeaway, regardless of whether or not suppressors are legalized for Illinois residents:

The behind-the-scenes work by the NRA and other gun rights orgs is a prime example of how hard work and dedication on the ground is what gets good legislation passed and keeps bad legislation at bay. If you think that the fact that Democrats had a bad election year means the gun control industry is dead and gone, think again. Which is why the NRA continues to need your support. Your dollars, along with your votes at election time are what keep them at the forefront of battling our opponents at both the state and national levels.



The Suppressor Bill may or may not come up for a vote this week (or next if still in session).  Don't despair.  We're working on it and will need to hit it hard after the first of the year.  Again, don't despair.