Marchers take to Capitol for gun ownership rights

Illinois gun owners join the gun lobby in a march to the Illinois Capitol.
Illinois gun owners join the gun lobby in a march to the Illinois Capitol.(WGEM)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 9:04 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - In a yearly tradition, gun owners in Illinois took to Springfield streets to advocate more less restrictions on firearm usage and ownership.

The Illinois Gun Ownership Lobbying Day is an event from the Illinois State Rifle Association gathering proponents in Springfield to speak with lawmakers and engage in a multi-block march to the Capitol’s steps.

However, this year it also served a dual purpose as a campaign event as Republicans gear up for an election in November and a primary in June. Several Republican lawmakers were present, including Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) who is vying for the Republican gubernatorial candidacy.

“Someone asked me where I stood on the second amendment and if I would be willing to compromise at all,” Bailey said. ”I told them I would gladly die on my front porch before I give up anything.”

Bailey received cheers from the crowd upon taking the stand. He also established himself as the candidate for people who love “guns,” “God,” “freedom,” and “Trump.” He made a promise to make conceal carry a constitutional right in Illinois and called for the end of Firearm Ownership Identification cards.

Though not referenced at the event, the Bailey campaign will hold an event later in April giving away guns to campaign donors through a raffle.

Former President Donald Trump was a consistent figure in the rally remarks, as well as rally those in attendance to vote Republican in November.

Chants from the group repeated those sentiments with references to Kyle Rittenhouse and Chicago Democrats. Crime continues to be a pressing issue as the statehouse moves into election season, especially as Democrat lawmakers introduced several packages of bills aimed at supporting police and reducing crime, earning the ire of Republicans for not taking ideas they had introduced previously.

“I know it’s time to make Illinois proud again, and it’s time to make Illinois free again,” Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) said.

The entire General Assembly is up for re-election in November. The Democratic party holds a super-majority in both houses. Additionally, there are several Republican candidates for governor in the June 28 primary. Bailey was the only of those candidates to speak.

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