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Moms Group Pushes For Gun Bill Override

Ricky Pike
Courtesy Maria Pike
Ricky Pike, right, with his brother on a trip to Machu Picchu. Ricky was shot and killed in Chicago in 2012.

The gun debate returned to the Illinois Capitol Wednesday. The group Moms Demand Action was lobbying to require state licenses for gun dealers.

Gathering near the rotunda, most of the women are wearing red T-shirts with the Moms Demand Action logo.

But a few also have a red button with the word “survivor."

“You know, I was his mom. I didn’t want him to leave," says Maria Pike. She's talking about her firstborn son, Ricky, leaving the nest. "But he was 24 years old, so I had to let him go.”

Pike says Ricky dreamed of being a chef for professional athletes, and was studying nutrition in college.

“And two months after he moved out of my home, he was shot in front of his brand new apartment," Pike says. "So he had two months of living as a bachelor.”

Last month, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the gun-dealer licensing bill. He says it would be costly and duplicate the existing system of federal licenses.

Democrats are still trying to round up enough votes to override him.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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