OFF TOPIC: House overrides governor’s veto of concealed carry bill


The Illinois House, with no debate, voted 77-31 today to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s changes to a compromise plan to regulate the concealed carrying of firearms in the state.

The state Senate must also vote to override Quinn’s rewrite of the bill for the measure to become law. That vote is expected later today.

The measure got 89 votes in its original House roll call at the end of May. It needed 71 House votes to override Quinn’s amendatory veto.

Illinois is the only state that bans so-called concealed carry — but faces a court-mandated deadline of today to enact regulations after a federal appellate court ruled the state’s prohibition unconstitutional.

If the full General Assembly overrides Quinn’s rewrite, gun owners will not be able to carry a concealed firearm without a valid concealed carry license issued by the Illinois State Police — a process that state police would have 180 days to develop. Possessing a valid Firearms Owner Identification Card, or FOID card, is not sufficient on its own to carry a concealed firearm, state police say.

The cost for the new concealed carry license would be $150 for five years for Illinois residents, under the legislation. Applicants also would have to complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction, to qualify. The legislation gives the state police 60 days to license firearm instructors and training courses, which the agency said it will place on its website,

Sponsoring Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat, has accused Quinn of using the governor’s amendatory veto powers to tighten the restrictions as a move aimed at bolstering political support for re-election among city and suburban voters who support gun-control.

Quinn, trying to build grassroots support for his rewrite over the last few days, has alienated many lawmakers — including gun-control advocates who were part of the negotiations — by accusing the General Assembly of caving to the interests of the National Rifle Association.

The measure passed the General Assembly with 89 votes in the House and 45 votes in the Senate. A total of 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate are needed to override Quinn’s changes.

In what could be an effort to soften a large-scale repudiation of Quinn’s rewrite led by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, a key Senate committee is expected to take up the governor’s changes in a separate bill. That measure, sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Executive Committee prior to the override vote.

via: Chicago Tribune


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