On Tuesday, the Illinois General Assembly voted to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto on the state’s recently passed concealed carry legislation, House Bill 183, finally putting an end to the Land of Lincoln’s status as the sole remaining state without some form of concealed carry.
Quinn had used his powers as governor last week to veto the original bill and recommend changes that included: banning concealed carry in any establishment that serves alcohol, a one-gun concealed carry limit for permit holders, and restricting the number of rounds of ammo one can carry to 10, among others.
The House rejected Quinn’s proposed changes by a vote of 77-31 and the Senate did likewise by a vote of 41-17, which many believe sent a clear message to the Democratic governor about his controversial style of leadership.
“It was all grandstanding and he should be ashamed of himself,” Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) told the Chicago Tribune.
“He thumbed his nose at our compromise,” Phelps continued, contending that Quinn purposely pandered to his gun control constituents in Cook County. Phelps said that the votes in both chambers send a “pretty strong message to the governor that he was wrong the whole time.”
Though, not everyone feels as Phelps does. Some lawmakers embraced Quinn’s recommendations and voted against overriding the amended version.
And others, who also liked Quinn’s version, said that they would have voted in favor of it if their backs weren’t up against the wall, i.e., the July 9 deadline a federal court had set for a concealed carry bill to be passed following a December ruling that the state’s ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional.
Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), a pro-gun control lawmaker, told the Chicago Tribune that a vote for Quinn’s version would have ultimately been just a “political vote” and that the right thing to do in the interest of public safety was to override the governor’s veto.
“There’s no more time,” Raoul said. “We are here on July 9 and if the members of this chamber have the interests of public safety at their heart, they would vote ‘yes’ to override.”
See, if the General Assembly couldn’t agree on a bill, either Quinn’s version or the original version, then the danger was that starting after July 9 Constitutional or permit-less carry would have been the law of the land. Consequently, many pro-gun control legislators felt compelled to override the veto and go with the less controversial, original version.
Quinn was obviously upset that more of his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly did not vote in favor of his bill. He accused them of “genuflecting” to the National Rifle Association while vowing that he will work to ensure his recommendations are eventually adopted into law.
“The people of Illinois are good and true and we are going to get the amendments I outlined,” Quinn said. “We’re going to have to fight ever harder to get them adopted one by one by this legislature because that’s what makes common sense to the people of Illinois.”
Others agreed that the battle over gun control and restrictions on concealed carry is far from over.
“I don’t think this is the last time we’re going to be discussing this issue,” Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), the Senate Republican leader, told the Chicago Tribune.
Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) agreed, telling the Tribune that “It is a very safe bet that we will be back” fighting over changing the new law.
Of course, any proposed changes or amendments will now have to wait until the start of the next legislative session.
In the meantime, and in the months to come once the Illinois State Police figure out CCW licensing procedures and applicant reviews, law-abiding Illinoisans will be able a carry concealed firearm if they pass a background check, successfully complete a 16-hour firearms and safety training course and pay a $150 fee. And needless to say, Guns.com will be first in line to tell you how this whole “Second Amendment” thing turns out for the gun murder capital of the U.S.