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Quinn expected to amend concealed carry bill

July 02, 2013 at 06:34 AM

The State Journal-Register

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to rewrite Illinois’ new concealed-carry law, the bill’s chief House sponsor said Monday.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said he got a call from Quinn’s office Monday afternoon telling him to expect action on the bill Tuesday.

“I was told by governor’s staff that he is going to amendatorally veto the bill at the Thompson Center (in Chicago),” Phelps said. “They did not give me any speculation of what it would be.”

Quinn’s office did not respond to questions about Phelps’ statement.

At a bill signing on another gun measure earlier Monday, Quinn said action on the concealed-carry bill was “imminent.”

“I’ll act on it very shortly, so stay tuned,” the governor said.

Phelps said that if Quinn rewrites the bill, he will immediately file paperwork to override the amendatory veto.

“I’m going to file a motion to override,” Phelps said. “He’s playing politics with this with a lot of groups in Chicago. We had a compromise, we had a deal. We had a deal with both chambers. The governor’s office was fully aware of everything going on in those meetings. They got a lot of things they wanted in the bill as well.”

It would take a three-fifths’ vote of both the House and Senate to override a Quinn amendatory veto of the bill. Both the House and Senate approved the concealed-carry bill by wider margins than that.

Federal courts have set a July 9 deadline for Illinois to implement a concealed-carry law. Illinois is the last state in the country to still ban the practice.

Even before Quinn takes any action on the bill, prosecutors in a dozen counties have said they won’t bring charges against people who carry concealed weapons in light of the federal court ruling.

There is disagreement about what would happen if Illinois misses the deadline. Gun-rights advocates maintain it will allow anyone with a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card to carry any kind of concealed weapon anywhere.

“That would be the Wild West when you have different people carrying different kinds of guns with no training,” Phelps said. “You’re going to get law enforcement people hurt, just Illinoisans in general could possibly get hurt. All it takes is that one person to shoot themselves or shoot somebody (because) they haven’t had the proper training.”

Gun-control supporters believe missing the deadline would allow communities to enact ordinances that severely restrict where concealed weapons could be carried.
Phelps said he believes lawmakers will be summoned back to Springfield July 8 to consider an override of any Quinn veto.

“We’re just going to make him irrelevant again,” Phelps said. “For the life of me, I don’t know why he would want to be irrelevant.”

Under the bill, anyone with a valid FOID card can obtain a concealed-carry permit after passing a background check, completing 16 hours of training and paying a $150 fee. The training requirement is the longest in the country.

Quinn has said he is concerned public safety will be jeopardized by the bill.

Doug Finke can be reached at 788-1527.

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