It appears that the anti-gun side in Illinois has decided that it's a good idea to call a wad of their bills on the same morning as IGOLD. I can't say I recommend this, but they're on such a roll lately, it's hard to argue with 'em. I guess.
You didn't forget about IGOLD 2009, did you? Even if you're not from Illinois, if you enjoy upsetting anti-gun lobbyists and politicians, you can always help sponsor the event. This year there's a "Sponsor" level being offered; for $100, you become a sponsor and get a spiffy "IGOLD Sponsor" hat. It's not a $100 hat, but it is measurably spiffy and well-made. Mine even fits on my giant head, which is not, I assure you, built to standard specifications.
Anyway, if you'd like to be a sponsor, you can always go to the IGOLD sponsorship page to donate. If you can't afford $100 right now, you can donate any amount you want--or you can purchase raffle tickets to win a Springfield "Loaded" M1 Garand, a DS Arms M4-AR15 carbine, or a Remington shotgun.
The other thing you can do whether you're coming to IGOLD or not, especially all you Illinois gun owners, is to make some phone calls and send some emails. The NRA's lobbyist in Springfield, Todd Vandermyde, told ISRA members recently that Illinois legislators have come to rely on email more than phone calls (which are still great) or paper mail (which they say is just too slow and goes through too much security to do much good.) We need to be contacting the members of committees that will be hearing these anti-gun bills, and we also need to remind friends and enemies alike that we have four License to Carry bills (and counting) going to the floor for a debate and vote soon. If you can't be there, you can do a huge amount of good by lighting up the phone lines. A simple statement like "My name is X, I live X, and I hope Representative So-and-So is going to vote against HR 48 because it's unconstitutional and unworkable" is fine. Remember that the staff doesn't vote, and they don't necessarily agree with their bosses, but they deal with the public on the phone all day long and they tend to be friendly and helpful--so it's best for us to be friendly, too.
Links for those who need a list of phone numbers to call for each bill. Good bills:
- SB1976, the License to Carry bill in the Senate, is going before the Public Health Committee (I know, it's weird, but there's a method to it.)
- HB48 would completely outlaw "private" gun sales in Illinois. I have to have the quotes there, since there really are no "private" sales in Illinois now, what with the FOID card requirements and the waiting periods, but this bill would require that every sale go through an FFL just like a transfer from one state to another. It would also cap the FFL's charge at $10 per transfer, thus mandating that FFLs lose money on every transfer. This bill is out of committee and headed to the floor for a vote, and the ISRA has put together a list of Representatives who are on the fence and need to hear from us.