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Concealed carry showdown: Quinn promises veto

May 03, 2011 at 06:40 PM

The Associated Press

CHICAGO—Gov. Pat Quinn tried Tuesday to put the kibosh on legislation that would let Illinois residents carry loaded, concealed weapons by vowing to veto any bill that reaches his desk.

Illinois is one of just two states that doesn’t allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons, and a committee voted last month to send legislation changing that to the Illinois House floor.

“This is not in any way a public safety measure this bill, this is the opposite of public safety. Loaded concealed handguns in the possession of private citizens will lead to more danger and more bad things happening,” Quinn said at a Chicago news conference where he was surrounded by the new Illinois State Police director and members of an anti-violence commission.

But supporters of the measure weren’t deterred by Quinn’s opposition and said they were working to line up support to go around Quinn if they have to. Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said he believes he is “on the cusp” of getting the 71 votes in the House that would be needed to override a veto. He also predicted a bill would pass more easily in the Illinois Senate.

Vandermyde warned that Quinn’s opposition could generate political fallout.

“His opposition may have just created a lot of opposition to his other initiatives,” Vandermyde said. “I think some downstate guys just thought they got thrown under the bus.”

The measure to allow the concealed carry of guns is sponsored by suburban and downstate lawmakers from both parties. Its chief sponsor is Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat.

Supporters of the bill contend Illinois should fall in line with other states because it and Wisconsin are the only states without some form of concealed carry. They argue concealed carry is an option for people who want to protect themselves.

Opponents contend putting more guns on the street will increase crime rather than safety.

Mark Walsh, campaign director for Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said he is “very confident” concealed carry will not become law with Quinn’s commitment to veto the legislation.

The proposed legislation would allow Illinois residents 21 and older to apply for permits to carry concealed handguns after receiving eight hours of training. County sheriffs would issue the permits. People with criminal convictions or records of mental illness would be disqualified.

Chicago police and gun control groups have raised concerns about flaws in Illinois’ mental health screening system for would-be gun owners that they say would get worse if concealed carry is passed.

The widow of a Chicago police officer, who was killed last year when he was disarmed and shot as he was about to get into his car, decried the notion of allowing concealed weapons to be carried in Illinois.

“I cannot imagine a reason that you need to carry a concealed loaded weapon unless you’re willing to use it on another human being,” Jennifer Loudon said. “And, having endured the aftermath as a family, I cannot wish that on anybody else.”

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Once again shows how Chicago rules the state! Only two states are without concealed carry! I am seriously doubting that IL ever stands any sort of chance of having this perk. I do not see why a Law abiding citizen could not have one of these permits. Wander what the crime rates have jumped to in other states since concealed carry?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/04 at 07:54 AM

More demagoguery by the anti?s and pandering by Quinn, lets hope they get the 71 majority votes or Quinn will kill it and this state will the only one left as I think WI. will pass a concealed law in the near future. While I have sympathy for the cop?s wife and family I fail to see any comparison in what some dirt bag did in that incident and a concealed carry law. It is interesting that of all the states that have it these folks cannot come up with a realistic and convincing argument against it. Their bucket holds no water.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/04 at 09:46 AM

yep chicago rules the stste and our money without them we wouldnt have the quinns, blagos , and madigans [gun owners worst enemy]one thing they are good at is squashing our constitutional rights !

Posted by trolloni on 05/04 at 09:39 PM

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