Yellow-clad gun owners swarmed the Illinois Statehouse for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day on Thursday. Their message: Let us carry concealed firearms, and keep the fact that we have FOID cards private.

“I believe every citizen should support the Second Amendment,” said Joel Gain, 74, a Petersburg cabinetmaker. “It’s just as important as the First Amendment. The Second Amendment bought and paid for the First Amendment, and a lot of people don’t realize that.”

The event drew an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 gun owners to the Statehouse, according to a representative of the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees the building.

“We’ll flood the Capitol, and everyone will be wearing yellow shirts and yellow caps, so they’ll know who we are,” Illinois State Rifle Association president Donald Moran said before the rally.

The event started at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, where the lobby was crowded with people wearing yellow caps, shirts, sweaters and jackets.

Among speakers were state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Otis McDonald, whose U.S. Supreme Court case against the city of Chicago overturned that city’s handgun ban.

“Let there be no doubt about it, Dan Rutherford supports concealed carry in the state of Illinois,” Rutherford told the crowd, which responded with a standing ovation.

Concealed carry was top priority for many in attendance.

“I’m in favor of concealed carry,” said Jeff Motler, 45, a Springfield engineer with AT&T. “We have the right to protect ourselves in our homes, but not in the street.”

Opponents, who have bottled up concealed-carry laws in the legislature in the past, say concealed weapons would simply worsen gun violence in Illinois. Concealed-carry supporters, however, believe the current General Assembly is more open to the idea. Illinois is one of only two states that don’t allow some form of concealed-carry now.

Source: Andy Brownfield for

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Yellow-clad gun owners swarmed the Illinois Statehouse for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby…