UPDATE: Rockford area lawmakers react to Quinn's concealed carry - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Rockford area lawmakers react to Quinn's concealed carry changes

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Illinois' Governor uses his executive power to change concealed carry. Pat Quinn vetoed the bill and made amendments. He and disapproving lawmakers clash on the bill, but both sides say they've got the public's best interest in mind. A couple more General Assembly votes will decide what carrying a weapon in public will look like in this state.

Last month, almost all Rockford area lawmakers in both chambers helped lock and load House Bill 183. Back then, they were trying to meet a court-ordered June 9th deadline, but Quinn says the IGA jumped the gun.

"The legislature passed a bill in a hurried way at the inspiration of the National Rifle Association contrary to the safety of the people of Illinois." -Governor Quinn announced in Tuesday's press conference.

He re-writes the concealed carry bill with nine amendments. One change involves roughly 200 municipalities in Illinois.

"Unfortunately, this bill strips from home-rule communities, all across Illinois, their authority to enact future laws on assault weapons and I think that's the wrong way to go."

Under Quinn's amendment, those governments can strengthen concealed carry ordinances beyond what state law says.

68th District Representative John Cabello counters, "We wanted to make sure that the bill was the same everywhere in the state."

35th District Senator Dave Syverson agrees, "It creates chaos and it does nothing to make the community safer, all it does it make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves."

One Rockford lawmaker, a fellow Democrat, also disagrees with the Governor's changes to House Bill 183.

"I think it was a good compromise and it should be allowed to stand. I think the votes will be there to override the veto." -says 34th District Senator Steve Stadelman.

Representative Cabello worries more lawmakers will end up siding with Governor Quinn on the home-rule amendment, as well as Quinn's limit to one gun, one ammunition clip and 10 rounds in public.

"What I did find out is that we can't piece-meal it together, so we either agree with his amendatory veto or we don't so hopefully that will keep everybody on board."

State lawmakers head back down to Springfield next Tuesday, which is also the day concealed carry is supposed to go into effect. The state got a 30-day extension from the original June 9th date. Both chambers can override Quinn's veto with 3/5th's majority votes.


Earlier we reported...

Quinn has changed the law to put a limit on the number of firearms and ammunition that can be carried. The law will now also ban guns from any establishment that serves alcohol.

The state has until July 9 to comply with a federal appeals court's ruling that Illinois' ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional. Governor Quinn said he never agreed with that ruling and the current bill approved by lawmakers needs modifications.

Quinn has called for the following additional changes:

  • Home-rule governments would not be allowed to enact future laws on assault weapons
  • Illinois must keep guns out of any establishment where alcohol is consumed.
  • Loaded guns would be allowed in stores, restaurants, churches, children's entertainment venues, movie theaters and other private properties unless a sign is posted prohibiting them; the legal presumption should always be a person is not allowed to carry a loaded concealed gun on private property unless given permission
  • Employers should be able to prohibit employees from carrying guns in the workplace and while performing employment-related duties
  • A license will permit an individual to carry one concealed gun and one ammunition clip that can hold no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
  • Enhancements to mental health reporting in regard to carrying guns should be enhanced
  • The current definition of a concealed firearm as "mostly concealed" should be clarified so guns are completely concealed from public view when carried
  • Meetings of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board should be announced, open, and available to the public
  • Individuals should always immediately respond to a public safety officer when asked if they are armed, the current bill does not require an individual to immediately disclose whether or not they are carrying a concealed firearm

The current legislation allows qualified gun owners to get $150 permits if they pass background checks and take 16 hours of training.

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