ISRA Press Release:
Arrest of Murder Suspect Dovetails With Intensified Effort to Pass Concealed Carry Legislation in Illinois

CHICAGO, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

Lake County (IL) law enforcement officials announced recently that they have charged 23-year-old Montago Suggs with numerous charges related to an especially violent late-May crime spree. Suggs has been implicated in the murder of a 22-year-old payday loan clerk and the robbery and attempted murder of employees and customers of a Beach Park, IL, convenience store. Suggs, a 3-time felon, is alleged to have committed these latest crimes only weeks after being released from prison after serving 5 years for felony theft.

The ISRA is pointing to the Suggs case as yet another example of what happens when a proven violent predator is released from prison and allowed to freely roam communities where law-abiding citizens are prohibited from carrying defensive firearms.

Illinois is one of only two states that deny their citizens the opportunity to carry firearms as a means of protecting themselves and their families from dangerous criminals. For nearly a decade, legislation that would grant Illinois citizens the opportunity to carry defensive firearms has been bottled up in legislative committees -- without even being granted the benefit of open debate.

The announcement of the Suggs arrest comes just as the ISRA is ramping up its campaign to pass concealed-carry legislation in Illinois. The campaign's strategic endpoint is the securing of a veto-proof legislative majority, which favors allowing qualified citizens to carry defensive firearms. The tactical plan includes a program to re-channel and focus the support of citizens who have a high interest in self-defense issues. In addition, the campaign will seek to gain support from non-traditional sectors by employing thought leaders who have a strong cultural affinity with the target groups and through the distribution of perception transformation messages. In the coming months, legislators will be hearing about self-defense and concealed carry a lot more often -- and from people they may have never expected to hear from.

"Every day, thousands of Illinoisans are beaten, raped, robbed, or murdered," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Those lucky enough to escape assault or murder today may not be so lucky tomorrow. The Suggs case is a frightening illustration of the fact that our streets are being flooded with dangerous individuals who cannot be rehabilitated by the justice system. It's just a matter of time until each and every Illinoisan is confronted by someone who scoffs at the law -- guided only by his or her antisocial urges. Thanks to inaction by the state legislature, law-abiding Illinois citizens must face these dangerous social misfits, unarmed."

 "The state legislature has denied the people of Illinois a voice on the issue of self-defense for far too long," continued Pearson. "We're about to change that. Soon, every legislator in the General Assembly will be put on the spot regarding their position on the carrying of defensive firearms by law-abiding citizens. They had better be prepared to give constituents all the right answers. Our intent is to make concealed carry a campaign issue in every district in the state."

The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. Since 1903, the ISRA has represented the interests of over 1.5 million law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.