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Updated 07/09/13 – 4:45 p.m.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Illinois lawmakers have voted to reject a set of changes Gov. Pat Quinn made to legislation allowing the carrying of concealed firearms in Illinois.
On the day a federal appeals court set as the deadline for lawmakers to enact concealed carry legislation, the House voted 77-31 to override Quinn’s amendatory veto of a bill approved by the legislature in May. The Senate later voted 41-17 to override the veto, meaning the original legislation becomes law.
“Had we not overridden the Governor’s veto, then tomorrow morning as of 12:01 a.m., folks could carry their guns wherever they wanted,’ said State Senator Kwame Raoul.
The governor blasted lawmakers, accusing them of negotiating away public safety to appease the National Rifle Association.
“Despite my objections, members of the General Assembly surrendered to the National Rifle Association in the waning days of session and passed a flawed bill that allows people to carry guns in establishments that serve alcohol, and allows people to carry unlimited guns and unlimited high-capacity ammunition magazines,” the governor said in a written statement. “It was wrong on May 31 and it’s wrong today.”
The measure would, for the first time, allow people in Illinois to carry firearms in public, making it the last state in the nation to allow carrying of concealed weapons.
The legislation allows qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo 16 hours of training to get carry permits for $150.
The state has six months to make concealed carry permit applications available to the public, and once anyone applies, the state would have 90 days to issue or deny a permit.
The legislation would prohibit concealed weapons at many locations, including: schools; government buildings; courthouses; jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers; hospitals and mental health facilities; on public transit; bars; parks and playgrounds; Cook County forest preserves; colleges and universities; casinos; public libraries; airports; amusement parks; zoos; museums.
Owners of private property also could ban firearms on their property, but would have to post signs indicating they don’t allow guns.
After his changes to the bill were overridden, Governor Quinn said, “The National Rifle Association came to our state and went behind closed doors with members of the legislature and drafted this legislation.”
“It has shortcoming that will lead to tragedies. That is why I acted on the amendatory veto. I would hope that the house members and the senate, upon reflection, will pass a follow-up legislation.”
Earlier this week, Quinn announced he was using his amendatory veto power to make a series of changes to the legislation.
His changes included 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 all establishments that serve alcohol.
The original legislation prohibits guns in bars, but not restaurants that get less than 50 percent of their sales from alcohol.
Though lawmakers voted to reject the governor’s package of changes, the Senate voted on a so-called “trailer bill” to the concealed carry legislation that would make three of the changes Quinn wanted. The House approved the changes in committee, but failed to pass them on a floor vote.
Among those changes, locations like schools and government buildings where concealed firearms are prohibited by the law would not have to post signs regarding the ban, but private property owners who opt to ban guns would have to post signs.
Further, people who have a concealed firearm would have been required to immediately tell police and public safety officials they’re carrying a gun.
The measure also would have required more information be provided to the Illinois State Police to assure the department gets mental health records to determine whether someone applying for a concealed carry permit could be a threat to themselves or others.
Last December, a federal appeals court ruled the state’s ban on carrying concealed firearms was unconstitutional. The court gave lawmakers until July 9 to enact legislation allowing firearms to be carried in public.