CHICAGO (CBS) – Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to head off an override of the changes he made to the concealed carry legislation that passed in the Illinois House and Senate by wide margins, by launching a PR campaign ahead of Tuesday’s legislative session.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports lawmakers spent months negotiating the concealed carry bill before approving it at the end of their spring session in May. The measure would, for the first time, allow people in Illinois to carry firearms in public.
The legislation allows qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo 16 hours of training to get carry permits for $150.
Earlier this week, Quinn announced he was using his amendatory veto power to make a series of changes to the legislation.
His changes include a one-gun, 10-round limit on concealed firearms; a provision allowing towns and cities to enact their own assault weapons bans, beyond a 10-day window in the original bill; and a ban on guns in establishments that serve alcohol.
“Guns and alcohol do not mix,” Quinn said Friday outside Wrigley Field on Friday, four days ahead of a legislative session where lawmakers will try to override the governor’s changes.
Before that vote, the governor tried to make a point about the changes he made to the legislation.
“On this street, on many occasions, people come together. We don’t want any incidents of violence in any bar or restaurant, anywhere in Illinois,” he said.
The governor said Wrigleyville and many other neighborhoods could face tragedies if guns are allowed inside restaurants. The legislation approved by lawmakers would ban guns only in bars and restaurants where 50 percent of sales come from liquor.
Quinn said the measure lawmakers approved was written by the National Rifle Association, and he said they are not experts on public safety.
“The National Rifle Association met behind closed doors with legislative leaders,” he said.
Restaurant owner Glenn Keefer said he supports the governor’s changes, noting the original legislation would ban concealed weapons in stadiums and other public venues, but not restaurants.
“Guns are not allowed inside Wrigley Field or the United Center. Why are other entertainment venues that serve alcohol, like some restaurants, treated differently?” he said.
Another restaurant owner, Sam Sanchez, said he takes keys away from customers who are drunk, and he doesn’t look forward to the prospect of trying to take away guns in the same situation.
The Illinois House and Illinois Senate both passed the concealed carry measure with enough votes to override Quinn’s amendatory veto.