News Local/State

Gun Control Advocates Gather At State Capital Again After Veto

The rotunda dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Sprignfield.

The rotunda dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Sprignfield. State of Illinois

Gun control advocates assembled again at the state capitol to call for an override of Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of The Gun Dealer Licensing Act--SB1657.

The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is pushing the gun control law. They were joined by the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition for the gathering. 

The groups argue the bill would protect citizens and help reduce gun violence by cutting down on illegal gun sales and holding dealers who break the rules responsible. 

Gathering near the rotunda, most of the women were wearing red T-shirts with the Moms Demand Action logo. But a few also had red buttons with the word “survivor." 

One woman who showed up for the assembly was Maria Pike. 

“You know, I was his mom. I didn’t want him to leave. But he was 24 years old, so I had to let him go," said Pike. She was talking about her firstborn son, Ricky, leaving the nest. 

“And two months after he moved out of my home, he was shot in front of his brand new apartment," said Pike. She added that Ricky dreamed of being a chef for professional athletes, and was studying nutrition in college. 

Another woman, Allison Kreher, is from New Athens. She says she’s had conversations with her kids about what to do if they’re caught in a shooting.

“Conversations I never thought I’d be having with my kids, and it’s a reality that has to be fought back on," said Kreher. "We have to do something to make schools — and society in general — safer for people."

The General Assembly passed the bill back in late February. However, Rauner vetoed the bill in March, saying it would be costly and would duplicate the existing system of federal licenses. 

A three-fifths vote in both the Illinois House and Senate would override the governor’s decision.