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Hundreds of gun owners rally at Illinois Statehouse

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(The Center Square) – Illinois gun owners rallied at the state capitol to show their displeasure with the state’s gun laws, and express hopes for success in the courts.

In January 2023, Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms. The measure faces federal lawsuits. Thursday in Springfield, the Illinois State Rifle Association hosted Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day where Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb was the keynote speaker.

After addressing the crowd at a convention, Gottlieb told The Center Square Illinois is key to impacting gun laws in other states.

“Because the anti-gun people in the state of Illinois, the politicians, keep passing more and more anit-gun laws which allows Illinois to take things to court and get court victories and decisions that create precedence in all the other 49 states,” Gottlieb said.

He said gun control advocates are using rhetoric like “assault weapon” and “weapons of war” to “confuse the public.”

“It’s a false narrative to push their anti-gun rights agenda and the bottom line is the courts aren’t going to listen to their rhetoric,” Gottlieb said. “The courts are going to look at the facts and the law and the Constitution.”

Following the gathering at a convention center, hundreds of gun owners marched down the streets of Springfield to rally before they lobbied their legislators.

“Look down the road and what do I see, Illinois gun owners marching with me,” the crowd chanted among other slogans.

State Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, addressed attendees after they marched through the capital city. He told the crowd that police want to help protect people, but they can’t always be there and that’s why he wants a “stand your ground” law as found in his House Bill 5803.

“You should not have to retreat,” Cabello said. “You should not have to worry about a lawsuit if you’re protecting yourself or your family.”