Originally, organizers in Springfield anticipated concealed carry would take center-stage at this years Illinois Gun Owners’ Lobby Day (IGOLD), but with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s recent order to State Police to make public the names of some 1.3 million FOID cardholders, there will most likely be a shift in focus.
Since 1968 Staties have kept the names of FOID users classified and the Illinois State Rifle Association, a century old political player and grass roots gun rights advocate in the Land of Lincoln, expects the news to boost the ranks of protesters at their annual gun rights rally scheduled for Thursday, March 10 in Springfield, Illinois.
“It’s bad enough that private citizens are not allowed to defend themselves when they walk our dangerous streets,” commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “But now Attorney General Madigan willfully sets citizens up as targets for crime by releasing their personal information to anyone who asks for it.”
With concealed carry legislature squeaking through the gears of the Wisconsin legislature, Illinois stands poised to remain the only state in the union that does not recognize concealed carry as a qualified citizen’s perogative. Considering this alienating reality, an expected turn out of over 5,000 and the Attorney General’s controversial acquiescence to the press to release the FOID names, Illinois could very well see the perfect storm of gun rights protests.
Pearson seems to reinforce this: “I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls in the past week. I’ve never seen people as angry as they are over Madigan’s decision to release gun-owner personal data. I expect a lot of that anger will be evident this Thursday. Madigan is supposed to be defending the good people of Illinois, not endangering them.”
The IGOLD event will begin at 9:30 AM with a press conference in the Capitol Blue Room. A rally and legislative briefing will be held at 11:00 AM at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. A march “on the Capitol building” will follow and conclude with participants attending committee hearings and lobbying their legislators to pass concealed carry legislation as well as new legislation to protect the FOID list.