The National Rifle Association’s point man in Illinois is taking a victory lap, after gun-control legislation was held down during the lame duck session, on top of a federal court order that the state must pass a concealed-carry law. Todd Vandermyde, the NRA’s Illinois lobbyist, says gun owners are on a winning streak, and Chicago-area lawmakers in the General Assembly had better realize that:
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“I think that public opinion, overall, remains on the side of the Second Amendment,” says Vandermyde, “and there’s still a lot of respect for the right to keep and bear arms within the state of Illinois. Sometimes it just has to get brought to the forefront.” Senators last week did not call a floor vote on proposed bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines after determining there were not enough votes for them. Vandermyde says some lawmakers may have tried to use those bills as leverage in negotiating a concealed-carry bill: “I think they seriously miscalculated that, because the issues aren’t linked,” he said.