With hunting season upon us, I wanted to take some time to remind my fellow hunters of the many opportunities Illinois provides sportsmen.
There are several seasons running from fall through winter that allow Illinois sportsmen to hunt deer, waterfowl, small game, turkey and migratory game birds. Especially here in Southern Illinois, opportunities abound for active hunters. I strongly encourage you to visit www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information.
As your state senator, I have always fought to protect your right to bear arms. This year won’t be any different. I am continuously fighting the Chicago machine and its attempt to diminish our right to bear arms. I have introduced legislation that would allow a citizen who is 18 or older to apply for and obtain a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card without the consent of a parent or legal guardian. I will continue to work to get this legislation passed in the upcoming session. This is a matter of fairness for the people of Illinois. Right now, only those 21 or older can apply for and obtain a FOID card without their parents’ consent. This is unfair to the young men or women who are allowed to enter the military at the age of 18. These brave men and women fight for our country – with a firearm – at 18 years old, so there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to apply for and get a FOID card on their own so they can hunt with their friends when they return home. This is common sense.
I have also introduced legislation that would allow citizens to carry concealed weapons with a permit. We are now the only state left in the nation without this provision. This is a matter of protection and safety for the residents of Illinois. I think it’s time to catch up with the rest of the country and pass concealed carry legislation. I will always fight to protect your constitutional right to bear arms. I will continue to stand by Southern Illinois hunters and all Illinois’ law-abiding citizens to work on reasonable legislation that promotes and protects our rights.
Years served: 2001-2003 (House); 2003 - Present (Senate)
Committee assignments: Energy; Labor and Commerce (Chairperson); Licensed Activities and Pensions; Committee of the Whole; Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
Biography: Born January 4, 1945, in Anna, Illinois. Full-time state legislator; former farmer and businessman; past chairman, Franklin County Board; former member, Franklin - Williamson Human Services Board; current member, Southern Illinois Workforce Man-Tra-Con Board, Operating Engineers and Laborers' International unions.