Society

Gun Crowd Prepares to Fight Illinois Assault Weapon Ban

| by Dabney Bailey
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The state-wide ban on concealed carry weapons in Illinois was recently found to be unconstitutional. Gun rights activists are hoping to carry that pro-gun momentum into a campaign against other gun control legislation.

Gun enthusiasts gathered in Lake County to discuss their options. Mike Weisman, the second vice president of the Illinois State Rifle Association, warned gun owners of looming gun control policies.

"There is litigation around the country on ordinances like this, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more," Weisman said.

Many gun rights advocates fear that the looming concealed carry law will spark a flurry of gun control restrictions across Illinois localities. Nearly 50 firearm owners gathered in Buffalo Grove recently to talk about opposing the assault weapon bans that politicians are currently considering in places like Highland Park, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest and Waukegan.

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Weisman warned that these laws would "create criminals out of law-abiding citizens" by turning AR-15s and other assault weapons into illegal weapons.

Gun advocates are starting with the simplest approach: just ask nicely. Weisman encouraged gun owners to simply ask their representatives to support gun rights. If that approach fails, then it might be necessary to be a bit more tenacious.

Gun supporter Scott Haugh, an attorney, offered some advice from a legal perspective. He told his colleagues to tell lawmakers, "if you pass this, this is going to be filed." Illinois legislators might think twice about passing gun control policies under the threat of costly litigation.

Others argued that gun owners should speak the language that everybody understands: money.

"I do a lot of shopping in Deerfield, and I will withhold my money from local businesses," said Daniel Easterday of Highland Park. "I will not give one cent. I'll move. I'll take my whole family and I'll move."

Petitions, litigation, and boycotts — with so many Illinois gun owners rallying around the recent pro-gun momentum, the Prairie State might undergo a miniature revolution as it leaves behind its reputation as one of the strongest gun control states in the nation.

Source: Chicago Tribune