Governor Pat Quinn today visited the popular area surrounding Chicago's Wrigley Field to discuss the importance of common-sense gun laws in Illinois, especially when it comes to concealed carry. Earlier this week Governor Quinn issued an amendatory veto of House Bill 183, legislation that would allow and regulate the carrying of concealed handguns in public places, to address several serious safety problems. One of the governor's critical changes to ensure public safety is to prohibit concealed weapons from public areas such as taverns and restaurants where alcohol is served.
"Guns and alcohol are a toxic mix," Governor Quinn said. "Public safety should never be negotiated away or compromised, and I will never support a flawed concealed carry bill that puts public safety at risk. The common-sense changes I outlined this week make this a better law and I encourage people to visit KeepIllinoisSafe.org, contact their state legislators and urge them to support these important changes."
On Dec. 11, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down Illinois' ban on the concealed carry of guns in public, an unprecedented ruling. Illinois then had until a court-established deadline of July 9 to pass concealed carry legislation. Legislators took six of the seven months allotted to pass a flawed bill that, despite the governor's objections, included too many provisions inspired by the National Rifle Association.
The governor's critical changes to House Bill 183 establish a better law that puts public safety first. The changes would keep guns out of establishments serving alcohol, including most family restaurants and other places where large amounts of alcohol are consumed; limit the carrying of concealed guns to one and one ammunition-magazine with no more than 10 bullets; and continue to allow local governments to enact assault weapon bans in their communities in the future.
House Bill 183 strips the authority of home-rule governments to enact future laws on assault weapons to protect their local communities. This NRA-inspired provision is not in the interest of public safety or local communities. In fact, these provisions have nothing to do with the right to carry a concealed gun and have no place in this bill. Local governments should always have the right to strengthen their own ordinances to protect the public safety of their communities.
Full details of the governor's amendatory veto as well as how to contact your legislator are available at KeepIllinoisSafe.org.
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to return to Springfield on July 9 to act on Governor Quinn's amendatory veto. They can vote to accept the veto, which requires a three-fifths majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or they could vote to override the veto, which requires a three-fifths majority in both chambers. If both chambers do nothing, House Bill 183 will not be enacted and Illinois' current concealed carry law will be struck down by the courts.