ILLINOIS SENATE JUDICIARY VOTE SHOWS DALEY ‘OUT OF TOUCH’ ON GUN CONTROL

Saturday, March 15th, 2003

BELLEVUE, WA – Thursday’s rejection by the Illinois State Senate Judiciary Committee of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s gun control agenda clearly shows how out of touch Daley is with Illinois voters, and even members of his own party, said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

“When Richard Daley cannot even convince members of his own party, which controls the Illinois Legislature, to approve his gun control agenda,” Gottlieb said, “it shows just how out-of-touch Daley’s philosophy on guns has become.”

Daley’s proposals for one-gun-a-month, a 2500 percent hike in the Firearm Owner’s Identification card application fee, a longer waiting period for handgun purchases and ballistic fingerprinting requirements were killed by the Judiciary Committee. Still alive, however, is SB 1195, a bill that would ban several semiautomatic rifles and their magazines, plus recreational firearms of .50-caliber and above.

“The committee’s action,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, “is not just a victory for Illinois gun owners; it’s also a triumph of common sense over extremist nonsense. It shows a definite fault line between suburban Chicago and the rest of the state. This is a signal to Daley and his cronies in Springfield that their views are not shared by the majority of Illinois citizens.

“However,” he added, “it remains critical for gun owners to make themselves heard on Senate Bill 1195. If passed, this legislation would force law-abiding Illinois citizens to destroy or surrender, without compensation, firearms they have legally owned for years, or become a felon. It is a deplorable measure with a gulag mentality.”

The defeat of Daley’s agenda was a blow to anti-gun forces in Illinois, who presumed that Democrat control of the Senate would give them an easy victory. Gottlieb said that miscalculation is proof positive that Democrats from rural regions are turning away from the far left philosophy that has guided their party’s restrictive attitudes about gun rights for so many years.

“Illinois citizens have had enough of Richard Daley’s anti-gun demagoguery,” Gottlieb stated, “and they demonstrated that through grassroots pressure on the Legislature. The work is not done, of course, because some gun control measures, including SB 1195, remain on the table.

“Daley partisans in the Illinois House will continue pushing his agenda,” Gottlieb added. “Illinois citizens who value their personal freedoms and safety need to keep up the pressure in Springfield. This fight is far from over, but we are encouraged that rural Senate Democrats have so far exercised good judgment on bad legislation.”