Voters on Election Day were not just picking the next President of the United States.
In 10 Illinois counties, they were also voting on a referendum asking if they think residents should have the right to carry a concealed weapon.
“It should have been done a long, long time ago,” says Alfred Bradley, a gun owner in Rock Island County. “We’re the last state that doesn’t have a right to carry.”
The referendum passed in all 10 counties, which included: Rock Island County (57% Yes), Henry County (73% Yes), Stephenson County (69% Yes), Mercer County (78% Yes), Warren County (73% Yes), McDonough County (68% Yes), Adams County (77% Yes), Schuyler County (81% Yes), Randolph County (76% Yes), and Bond County (78% Yes).
“Being able to protect yourself and your family is very, very meaningful to not only me, but almost everyone I know,” says Bradley.
Bradley was one of nearly 10,000 who boarded buses across the state and met in Springfield on March 7, 2012 for Illinois Gun Owners’ Lobby Day.
“We marched in the wind and the rain and cold weather on Springfield to let them know how we feel about things,” says Bradley.
And he believes things are moving forward between March 7th, 2012 and November 6th, 2012.
Even though the passage of the referendums do not mean the actual law passes, gun owners say it sends a message to lawmakers and criminals that this fight for the right to carry is not over.
“There’s just so many bad guys out there you want to be safe, you want your family to be safe,” says Bradley.
Supporters with IllinoisCarry say the next step is to get the referendum on more ballots in more counties in the next election, which is in March 2013.