Richard Pearson is the Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He has spent many years in Springfield fighting for gun rights in the state of Illinois. He released this statement late last night on the failure of HB-148 – the Illinois concealed carry bill – to get the super-majority needed.
5 May 2011
I know you are all down in the dumps about today’s vote but you should not be. I’m not saying you should be happy either. Be pragmatic. That will be hard for everyone on our side of this issue, I realize.
We put 68 votes on the board our first time out. That is great. I know in the end we wound up with 65 and we needed 71. The Mayor and the Governor were threatening everyone they could and we only missed by a few votes. We had promises that weren’t kept, because the threats from the mayor carried more weight than we could deliver, today.
That’s life in Springfield. I know many of you and many of our members see things in black and white. If you ever come across anything in Springfield that is either pure white or completely black run away as fast as you can. It’s a trap. Ask some of our former Governors!
We know who voted one way or the other and why. We will take care of it. I’m not saying that some people shouldn’t be put in the spot light, but not all should because that will solidify their position against us. Some need to be finessed.
If there were a few legislators that need to be in the spotlight, Farnham, Crespo, and Monique Davis would be the three that I would pick.
So where are we? The bill was put on postponed consideration. That means it can be called anytime between now and the second Wednesday in 2013. Now that we have probed and found out the weak spots we can begin working on the bill again.
Firearm owners in Illinois are not the second class citizens Mayor Daley makes us out to be. He asked today for a publicly funded protection detail, once he is retired! Once he is retired, he is a common citizen just like the rest of us. I can’t get the state of Illinois or my city to provide me with armed guards to watch out for me and neither should he.
Fox News Chicago reported this evening that NRA will file a law suit against the state of Illinois and there will be NO input from the Legislature once litigation commences. I am not sure what their sources are, but it was alluded to during the closing statement at the end of debate.
Representative Phelps put a lot of work into this bill. He invited all sides in to negotiate any issues they had with the bill. Conspicuously absent from those discussions was the city of Chicago. They were invited, but never even gave the courtesy of a response.
ISRA Members and our supporters are not quitters and we’re not done. Adversity makes us stronger! We WILL WIN THIS!