More than400 people attended the march. The crowd traveled from the Bank of Springfield Center to the Capitol Building for the state’s official Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day.
Advocates came from across the state, including Effingham, Lockport, Naperville and Rockford, with senators as far south as Xenia showing up to demonstrate their support.
“It’s our constitutional right to bear arms, to have guns,”said Mary Perkins of Lockport. “We’re not going to go walking down the street shooting people. We’re just going to protect ourselves against people who want to do us harm. We’re law-abiding, we carry our guns because we have conceal-carry licenses, but we’re not looking for trouble. We’re everyday people.”
Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, and Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, were among the legislators who appeared with advocates to take a firm stance for the Second Amendment.
“I promise you, when that line is drawn on the sand, we are going to be one of the first ones there,”said Bailey. “Because I will never, ever, give up my AR-15, or any other gun.”
Taking a similar position, Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, stated, “This fight is about our freedom. Your voices need to be heard. We will not be intimidated. We cannot be bought, and we will not be silenced.”
It was estimated more than 400 pro-gun advocates entered the Capitol Building, with more outside participating during the day’s march.