Illinois Gov. Quinn triggers backlash after changing concealed-carry bill

Published July 02,

  • July 2, 2013: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks during a news conference in Chicago. (AP)

Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn triggered a backlash from his own party as well as the NRA on Tuesday after he unilaterally changed legislation meant to allow the carrying of concealed weapons.
In a challenge to gun-rights supporters, Quinn moved to cap the number of firearms and rounds that can be carried by Illinois residents and ban guns from any place that serves alcohol.
The move was a nod to the governor's gun-control base as the state faces a court-ordered July 9 deadline to allow concealed-carry.
But, by using what is known as his "amendatory veto power," Quinn could imperil the carefully crafted deal, which now heads back to the legislature.
Some lawmakers have already vowed to reject Quinn's new provisions.
Sen. Bill Haine, a Democrat, says he hopes lawmakers will override the veto. Assistant Majority Leader John Sullivan said Quinn "ignored the will of the people."
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam also criticized Quinn's changes. "Limiting the rights of law abiding people has never been an effective tool in reducing crime. Arresting, prosecuting and punishing criminals is. That's a simple and straightforward concept that reasonable people grasp," he said in an email.
Before the court ruling, Illinois was the only state in the nation to still prohibit citizens from carrying concealed weapons. The legislation was meant to remedy that.
Quinn, in announcing his decision to impose last-minute changes, claimed the bill had "serious flaws" that jeopardize public safety.
"Therefore I've used my power under the constitution of our state to make important changes, common sense changes, to protect the safety of our people," he said.
Among those changes, he called for guns to be banned from any business where alcohol is served.
"Guns and alcohol don't mix. And I think it's very important that the legislature understand that message from the people of Illinois," Quinn said.
He also added a restriction so that licensed gun owners would only be allowed to carry a single concealed gun and one ammunition clip holding up to 10 rounds.
Sen. Tom Cullerton said Quinn tried to score "political points" with the veto.