Prepare for a battle over so-called assault weapons! Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) has stated this week that he will veto legislation passed out of the House that seeks to lower to 18 the age at which a person can sign for his own Firearm Owner`s Identification (FOID) Card unless the legislature also sends him a bill to ban certain semi-automatic firearms. Governor Blagojevich made his threat after The Chicago Tribune challenged him to take just such a position. The March 30 morning edition of the Tribune ran an editorial stating "Blagojevich`s office says he is willing to sign" the FOID Card bill, but then instructed, "If the governor wants to sign a bill ... he ought to demand something in return." In fact, the Tribune even gave Blagojevich specific instructions to follow the lead of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and support banning so-called assault weapons as part of what he should get in return for signing the FOID Card bill. Although Blagojevich`s office had initially indicated the Governor simply would sign a FOID Card bill, the governor reacted quickly to the prodding of the Tribune, as well as demands made by Daley. Governor Blagojevich held a press conference mere hours after the Tribune editorial hit the streets, announcing he would only sign a FOID Card bill if the legislature would help him to ban guns. Please be sure to call your state lawmakers and urge them to oppose this flip-flop on the part of Governor Blagojevich, and oppose any legislation that seeks to ban firearms. Also be sure to contact Governor Blagojevich and politely urge him to reject the pressure from the Tribune and Chicago Mayor Daley, and simply support the FOID Card bill as he originally stated he would. In addition, be sure to encourage your State Senator to support HB 3989, and your State Representative to support SB 2163, the FOID Card bills that passed out of the House and Senate, respectively, last week. The House also passed HB 4075 last week, which seeks to provide an affirmative defense for a gun owner if he uses a firearm prohibited by local ordinance in defense of himself or others. Finally, the Senate passed last week both SB 2165, which mirrors HB 4075, and SB 2386, which seeks to prohibit civil suits against a gun owner who uses a firearm to defend himself or others. Please take the time to contact your state lawmakers and urge them to support all of these reforms, and ask them to oppose any efforts to ban firearms. The Senate can be reached by calling (217) 782-4517, the House can be reached at 217-782-8223 and the Governor at (217)-782-6830.