Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, working under a court-imposed July 9 deadline for Illinois to establish a "concealed carry" law, used his amendatory veto power Tuesday to alter the law as approved by the Illinois General Assembly.
The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act allowed and regulated the carrying of concealed handguns in public places.
Speaking in Chicago, Quinn outlined his concerns. with concealed carry legislation as written. The legislation passed with veto-proof majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate.
Limiting Number of Guns and Ammunition:
The bill provides no cap on the number of guns or on the size or number of ammunition clips that may be carried. Instead, it allows individuals to legally carry multiple guns with unlimited rounds of ammunition, which is a public safety hazard ...
The legislation should clarify that a license will permit an individual to carry one concealed gun and one ammunition clip that can hold no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The definition provided for “concealed firearm” is insufficient and must be clarified to ensure that when guns are carried, they are completely concealed from public view ...
Make no mistake—this is a step towards open carry in Illinois. This vague definition can lead to fear and confusion among the public, varying interpretations and enforcement, and the potential for subsequent litigation.
As drafted, this bill allows people to carry guns into establishments serving alcohol, including most family restaurants and other places where large amounts of alcohol are consumed.
Mixing alcohol with guns is irresponsible and dangerous. Regardless of the percentage of sales attributed to alcohol, any establishment where alcohol can be consumed is an establishment where alcohol can impair judgment and do harm. Just as we have strong laws to prevent the danger of drinking and driving, we must have laws that prevent the danger of drinking and carrying a loaded gun. Illinois must keep guns out of any establishment where alcohol is consumed.
Access to Private Locations and Workplaces:
Under this bill, loaded guns would be allowed in stores, restaurants, churches, children's entertainment venues, movie theaters and other private properties, unless the owner visibly displays a sign prohibiting guns. As written, this provision would lead to the unfair and unduly burdensome presumption that—without private property owners’ specific actions to the contrary—guns are welcome.
As a matter of property rights, the legal presumption should always be that a person is not allowed to carry a concealed, loaded gun onto private property unless given express permission.
As currently drafted, this bill infringes on an employer’s ability to enact policies that ensure a safe and secure work environment ... Employers must have the right to enact policies that prohibit employees from carrying guns in the workplace and in the course of any employment-related duties.
Quinn also insists that Home Rule governmental units be allowed to pass further restrictions, rules for reporting persons with mental health issues be enhanced, and that the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board be subject to both the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
The governor released this statement:
"As Governor, it is my foremost duty to keep the people of Illinois safe. In the first half of this year, there were 843 shootings and 184 murders in the City of Chicago alone. There's no doubt that gun violence is a plague in many Illinois communities. That's why any changes to our state's gun policy must protect the people and minimize the risk of gun violence on our streets.
"On December 11, 2012, three days before the Sandy Hook school tragedy, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, (Case Nos. 12-1269 and 12-1788), without precedent regarding the regulation of guns outside the home, struck down Illinois’ current ban on the concealed carry of guns in public.
"Let me be clear: I do not agree with this ruling. However, I am duty-bound to address the mandates of the Court of Appeals, unless the United States Supreme Court rules otherwise.
"To fill the legal void left by the Seventh Circuit’s opinion, House Bill 183 creates the Firearm Concealed Carry Act to allow and regulate the carrying of concealed handguns in public places.
"I have carefully reviewed every part of this legislation. This is a flawed bill with serious safety problems that must be addressed.
"Therefore, I am compelled to use my constitutional authority to rectify several specific issues, to establish a better law to protect the people of Illinois.
"There are too many provisions in this bill inspired by the National Rifle Association, not the common good. Public safety should never be compromised nor negotiated away.
"With these common sense changes, House Bill 183 will have my approval."