Quinn changes Illinois concealed-carry legislation - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Quinn changes Illinois concealed-carry legislation

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday he is changing a concealed-carry measure approved by the Legislature to cap the number of firearms and ammunition that can be carried and to ban guns from any establishment where alcohol is served.

The Chicago Democrat held a news conference in downtown Chicago on Tuesday to announce that he's using his amendatory veto power to add ammunition limits, bar guns in establishments serving alcohol and says local governments should be able to enact their own local laws in some cases.

"There are serious flaws in this bill that jeopardize public safety of the people of Illinois," Quinn said.

He spoke surrounded by nearly 100 anti-violence advocates, who cheered as he spoke. The crowd included young children and people who've lost family in shootings.

Those who spoke included the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who gave an impassioned speech and called the original bill "weak and shameful." The activist priest has led anti-violence marches in the city.

Others talked about how violence has impacted the city's neighborhoods.

Quinn says his "important, common sense changes" protect public safety and were inspired by the National Rifle Association.

Quinn's other changes include more clarification on mental health reporting and stricter definition of "concealed carry," among other things.

The governor's changes to House Bill 183 include the following:

ALCOHOL: Guns would be banned from any business where alcohol is served. Currently, the legislation bars guns only from restaurants whose liquor sales amount to less than half of gross sales.

LOCAL LAWS: Local communities would be able to create their own laws limiting assault weapons.

SIGNAGE: A person wouldn't be allowed to carry a concealed gun into a business, church or other private property unless the owner displays a sign giving them express permission.

AT WORK: Employers would be able to enact policies prohibiting workers from carrying concealed weapons on the job or on job-related duties.

GUNS AND AMMO: Licensed gun owners would only be allowed to carry a single concealed gun and one ammunition clip holding up to 10 rounds.

MENTAL HEALTH: More clarification would be required to assure that Illinois State Police get mental health records to determine whether a permit applicant could be a threat to themselves or others.

VISIBILITY: The definition of "concealed firearm" would be clarified to remove language that allows people to carry "mostly concealed" weapons. Quinn wants guns completely concealed.

OPEN RECORDS: A Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board would have to follow state open records laws and notify the public about its meetings.

ALERTING AUTHORITIES: People who have a concealed firearm would immediately have to tell police and public safety officials they're carrying a gun.

In his amendatory veto message Tuesday, Quinn asked people to call their lawmakers to push them to approve it.

The governor will run headlong into a likely override effort in the House and Senate, which  passed the legislation by overwhelmingly lopsided margins with what are known as veto-proof majorities. In May, the House voted 89-28 for the plan, while the Senate voted 45-12 for it.

A subsequent vote in both chambers that results in at least 71 House votes and 36 Senate votes will block Quinn's effort to undercut the legislation. Such a step could occur as early as next Wednesday when lawmakers return to Springfield for a one-day session.

But politically, such a defeat for the governor would enable him to boast of his efforts to preserve gun-control laws in the state. A rewrite of the concealed carry legislation would position himself favorably with many voters in a Democratic primary when he could face challenges from the attorney general and former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

The gun deal that passed the General Assembly on May 31 would have preserved local gun laws, including Chicago and Cook County's bans on assault weapons, and kept gun owners from carrying their loaded weapons on public trains and buses.

Legislators were forced to take action on concealed-carry legislation after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last December struck down the state's prohibition against gun owners from taking their weapons in public places and gave the General Assembly 180 days to remedy the situation.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), the measure's chief House sponsor, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Quinn's office told him of the governor's plans to amendatorily veto the bill.

"It's a shame he is doing this on the week of the 4th [of July]," Phelps said. "He's living a double standard. He uses armed security guards for his protection but wants to make it harder for Illinoisans to protect themselves and their families.

"I can't believe he would AV this when we had a compromise," Phelps continued. "He's totally playing politics."

The legislation permits qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo 16 hours of training to get permits for $150.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has not decided whether to appeal the appeals ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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