Guns Save Life establishing a Quincy chapter

guns save life

These signs produced by can be seen throughout Downstate Illinois, including along I-72.

QUINCY – More than 100 people turned out at the Eagles Club Wednesday night to hear about the latest chapter of a pro-Second Amendment group to be formed in Illinois.

Guns Save Life was established in Urbana in about 30 years ago and now has 20,000 members received its monthly newsletter. The Quincy chapter would be the 12th in the state.

GSL Executive Director John Boch gave a 30 minute sales pitch for his organization. He said the group is in the middle of several lawsuits over gun rights in Illinois, including one to repeal the Firearms Owners’ Identification Card (FOID).

“We will be at the Appellate Court on our FOID lawsuit,” Boch said. “We challenged the FOID Act in 2019, arguing that it’s unconstitutional … Can anybody in the audience told me how many states required a FOID card in 1791?

“When it eventually does get to the Illinois Supreme Court, we will take it to the US Supreme Court. And I’m reasonably certainly they will take the case and once and for all put a stake in the heart of the FOID card.”

Boch said he realizes there is little hope for progress on Second Amendment issues when it comes to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the General Assembly.

“It looks like we’re going to be playing defense for quite a little while longer,” he said. “We don’t have the numbers in the legislature, so we have to fight them in the courts.”

GameMasters of Quincy sponsored the event. Co-owner Trevor Beck dealing with multiple, and sometimes conflicting, regulations from both the state and federal governments has its challenges. He said a recent audit by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was one example.

“We’re just trying to really get ahead and stay ahead of regulatory changes,” Beck said. “I think the frustrating part for us as the retail side of it is dealing with a state level saying this is the way to go and then a federal level saying this is the way to go … It’s very difficult for us to follow and be make sure that we’re doing everything the right way. Politically, obviously, it’s it’s not a fun time to be in but we are where we are, and we’re going to deal with it the best we can.”

Kristen Garrett of Quincy said she wanted to help start the chapter because of what she sees as a deterioration of one of this country’s basic freedoms.

“I was really encouraged by the crowd tonight,” she said. “People are just tired of all of the restrictions. We want to follow the law. Some people don’t want to and they are the problem.”

About 100 people turned out for the first Guns Save Life meeting in Quincy at the Eagles Club. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

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