CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s now up to Gov. Quinn: A bill permitting people to carry concealed weapons has been on his desk for several weeks.
While the governor is a longtime gun control advocate, he’s facing a fast approaching court ordered deadline to enact a concealed carry law.
It’s a matter of policy and politics.
Gun control advocates are urging the governor to veto the bill, or at least amend it.
The state arm of the National Rifle Association will use this weekend’s open house to kick off its campaign to get him to sign it.
It’s an annual event put on by the Illinois State Rifle Association at its rural range near Bourbonnais.
Richard Pearson heads the powerful state gun lobby that helped write the bill which passed the state legislature and is now on Quinn’s desk.
Eight downstate Illinois counties already permit carrying concealed handguns even though the governor has yet to either sign or veto the bill.
“I’d ask him to sign it as it is and go forward with it,” Person said.
The Illinois Coalition Against Handguns doesn’t agree.
“One of the questions asked at the hearing was could you walk down Michigan Avenue with a concealed weapon and a 100 round magazine? And the answer was yes,” said Colleen Daley
Pearson counters: “You couldn’t conceal a 100-round magazine. It would be as big as a basketball.”
Other provisions of the concealed carry bill include no concealed weapons on the CTA or Metra.
No weapons would be allowed in schools, child care facilities, hospitals or museums. Same for courts, casinos, bars, stadiums, airports, parks and government buildings.
Business owners would have the right to post signs prohibiting weapons on their premises.
“There’s no perfect bill,” Pearson said. “Let’s just pass this and then see how it goes.”
There are indications that the governor will make his decision well before the July 9 deadline. But it may not make much difference what he does.
Most believe there are enough votes to override his veto.
That could give Quinn some political cover as he enters a tough primary against opponents who have also criticized the concealed carry bill.