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Republicans using gun referendums in apparent bid to gin up turnout

Monday, Aug 6, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We might be seeing more of these around the state. Stay tuned…

Today, State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and State Senate candidate Seth McMillan (R-Taylorville) announced an effort to allow voters in Macoupin, Montgomery, and Christian Counties to voice their opinion on legislation that restricts gun rights. This initiative will place an advisory question on the General Election ballot that will read:

    Should the General Assembly pass any additional legislation that restricts a citizen’s ability to own and possess guns or firearms?

Voters will be able to vote “Yes” or “No” on the measure. A “Yes” vote would indicate support for additional gun control legislation. A “No” vote would indicate opposition to additional gun control legislation. Avery Bourne and Seth McMillan will both be voting “No,” as they both oppose additional gun control legislation.

Avery Bourne reacted to gun control legislation and the proposed referendum, saying, “Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, yet politicians in Springfield keep passing anti-gun legislation that doesn’t crack down on the true cause of gun violence. I’ve been proud to stand with law-abiding gun owners in opposing these efforts. This referendum will allow voters, regardless of their opinions on the 2nd Amendment, to send a direct message to Springfield on where they stand on gun control.”

Seth McMillan, candidate for State Senate in the 48th Senate District, also reacted, saying, “The Second Amendment is under attack in Springfield and Andy Manar has been siding with gun-grabbing Chicago Democrats over the law-abiding, gun-owning citizens of Central Illinois. We need to send a strong message to politicians in Springfield that gun owners vote and we oppose gun control. This referendum is the best way to do it. I will be proudly voting ‘No’ on additional gun control and I urge Manar to do the same.”

This morning, Macoupin County Republican Party Chairman Kevin Polo and Avery Bourne submitted petitions containing 1,600 signatures of Macoupin County voters to Macoupin CountyClerk Pete Duncan (picture below and attached). The minimum signature requirement to place an advisory referendum on the ballot via the petition process is 8% of the total vote for gubernatorial candidates in the preceding gubernatorial election. For Macoupin County, that minimum is 1,256 signatures. If unchallenged by opponents of the advisory question and certified by the County Clerk, the question will appear on the ballot for Macoupin County voters this General Election.

The Christian County Board approved the referendum unanimously on Tuesday, July 17th.

The Coordinating Committee of the Montgomery County Board approved the referendum on Tuesday, July 31st. The full Montgomery County Board is set to vote on the referendum Tuesday, August 14th.

The National Rifle Association and the Illinois State Rifle Association support the placing of the referendum on the General Election ballot to give voters the opportunity to voice their opposition to gun control. Both organizations have encouraged their members to vote “No.”

I read a little story online a week or two ago that included a passage about how the state Republican Party was hoping to use these referendums to help beat back the “blue wave” in Downstate areas, but I forgot to save it and then couldn’t find it again. Oops.

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  1. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    -See, “Politics, Playing”

  2. - JS Mill - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    Is this the “no games/shenanigans etc.” that Ruaner was talking about?

    I guess Madigan isn’t the only one that like to play games.

  3. - don the legend - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===gun-grabbing Chicago Democrats === Bourne and McMillan are prime examples of lazy political hacks who pander to their base and stoke division.

    While they’re at it why not ask these same voters if they want the definition of the weekend changed to include Friday and Monday.

  4. - TaylorvilleTornado - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    It’s Christian County, so it’ll probably work.

  5. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    It’s worth a “shot.”

  6. - Mike Cirrincione - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    The Constitution of the United States of America specifically says “A Well Regulated Militia”.

  7. - Person 8 - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    And what if a majority vote yes? Does this mean they will change their stance…

  8. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    More votes for McCann.

  9. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    As long as the GOP has Rauner, a conspiracy nut and a nazi on the ballot, this would be the only place for the few remaining old schools Republicans to mark the ballot.

  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Perhaps Bourne and McMillan could give us some examples of places in the state where it’s difficult to get your hands on a gun.

  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==It’s Christian County, so it’ll probably work.==

    Disagree. Well, maybe not disagree so much as i think it isn’t going to help do what Bourne is hoping it will. Pro 2A voters show up to vote every chance they get. They weren’t going to sit out this election no matter what, so this referendum isn’t going to add any numbers that weren’t already cooked in. But it does give her and the others a chance to show donors they’re doing everything possible. “Please don’t turn off the money spigot, we have a special plan….”

  12. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    @Mike Well regulated militia? That one has already been settled by the SCOTUS. They are referring to the regular citizenry.
    The gun rights issue has always been an issue that the GOP has relied on in elections. I could see McCann getting some extra downstate votes if he uses it to his advantage.

  13. - Been there, done that - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    In 2014 the minimum wage amendment passed in Christian, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties but I don’t see Bourne or McMillan beating the drum to support the will of the voters on that issue in their districts. Political games as usual from this crew.

  14. - just wondering - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    UMM Cook Co has been using these referendums to gin up turnout for several election cycles, no big deal when its the Dems

  15. - Aimtomisbehave - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    Perhaps Seth would like to give examples of where Andy Manar has voted for gun control bills?

    It reminds me of the “2nd Amendment Alerts” calling Sam McCann a gun grabber two years ago.

    Here’s hoping the ISRA, NRA, and other groups like GSL educate their members properly & stand with the few Democrats that still stand by the 2A.

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    = The Constitution of the United States of America specifically says “A Well Regulated Militia”. =

    Still trying to re-argue Heller, Mike?

  17. - Baggs McCoy - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    Group (XYZ) with a political affiliation (XYZ) uses a legal mechanism to gin up their perceived base and get them to the polls. Shocking! Madigan did it legally with the millionaires tax referendum. At lease they aren’t handing out 100K cash.

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 4:40 pm:


    Nope. Just newsworthy.

    Try to take a breath on occasion.

  19. - Baggs McCoy - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 5:33 pm:

    Sorry Rich my comment was not in reference to your post just some of the comments embedded in your post.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 5:40 pm:

    I think what’s disappointing about Raunerites and the whole 2A tripe, (and it is tripe when Rauner is who he is while walking a tightrope being what Raunerism is) is this idea that 2A ideals can gloss over embarrassingly bad votes against their districts and purposely voting in ways to hurt Illinois.

    I’m not angry or upset.

    I’m just disappointed.

  21. - Mike Cirrincione - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 6:38 pm:


    Nope. Heller didnt say that at all. You should go read the decision before commenting.

  22. - My New Hamdle - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 8:31 pm:


  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 6, 18 @ 10:43 pm:

    “The National Rifle Association and the Illinois State Rifle Association support the placing of the referendum on the General Election ballot to give voters the opportunity to voice their opposition to gun control.”

    This junior high level of “statesmanship” promoted by “leaders” of the gun rights “movement” in Illinois like Richard Pearson from ISRA perfectly illustrates the 7th grade level cognitive level of gun owners that are dumb enough to send money to him and NRA.

    Pearson and (former) NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde are two of the people responsible for selling out Otis McDonald and every gun owner in the state to anti-gun police unions like the IL Chiefs of Police in Rep. Brandon Phelps concealed carry bill. It’s been five years, and the gun hicks still haven’t figured out who their enemies are.

  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 7, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    “Convenient” that I got this in the mail from Rep. Bourne on the same day …

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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