Note to our members:
Please read the following ISRA Press Release, and if any of you have received similar visits from the Illinois State Police after contacting Illinois Legislators (via telephone, USPS mail, email, or fax), then please contact the ISRA office at 815-635-3198.

ISRA Press Release:

ISRA Asks Senator Kotowski to Explain State Police Infringements on First Amendment Rights of Illinois Gun Owners
 
    CHICAGO, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released
today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

    The ISRA is expressing great concern over reports that Illinois State
Police (ISP) detectives have been visiting the homes of people who phoned
or faxed Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) to express opposition to gun
control legislation sponsored by the senator. The ISRA has recently
conducted a thorough investigation into one complaint, and is gathering
additional information on as many as several dozen other reported incidents
of police questioning citizens who have spoken out against gun control
legislation.

    In the case investigated thus far, the respondent reports that ISP
detectives arrived at his home, unannounced, and informed him that their
visit was in response to faxes he sent to Sen. Kotowski. The detectives
then went on to ask the citizen questions about his mental health and other
personal matters. Although the citizen was not arrested, he reports that he
feels that the detectives were there to deliver the message that it's not a
good idea to criticize Dan Kotowski or the gun control measures Kotowski
supports.

    "The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of
citizens to petition the government for the redress of grievances," said
ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "Of course, the manner in which
citizens exercise that right must not include any threats of harm against
elected officials."

    "When we first heard about the ISP visits to homes of people who had
sent faxes to Sen. Kotowski, we were concerned that some folks may have
acted inappropriately," continued Pearson. "However, upon inspection of the
faxes in question, we see absolutely no reason for the ISP to visit
citizens' homes -- other than to possibly put a damper on the citizen's
desire to participate in the legislative process."

    "At this time, we are asking Sen. Kotowski to produce any evidence he
may have which illustrates threatening behavior on the part of citizens who
have received ISP visits," said Pearson. "If Sen. Kotowski cannot produce
any such evidence, then we will be asking Attorney General Madigan to
conduct an investigation into the apparent use of the ISP to suppress the
First Amendment rights of persons who express opposition to gun control
legislation."

    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.