SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn sent the concealed carry bill passed by both houses back to lawmakers Tuesday, writing stricter gun regulations into the legislation.
Now, the General Assembly will have until a court-issued July 9 deadline to either accept or reject Quinn’s revision.
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said she expected the governor’s amendatory veto, but that the General Assembly will likely override it.
“I’m not surprised,” Rezin said. “I think he put in what he wanted [knowing the General Assembly] would override his veto.”
In May, House Bill 183 passed the Senate 45-12 with one present, which is a neutral vote, and the House 102-13 with one present.
The Senate needs 36 votes to override the Governor’s veto and the House needs 71.
“Clearly, we have the votes to override [Quinn’s veto,]” Rezin said. “It’s a futile move.”
Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) has already filed a motion to override.
Rezin said lawmakers are likely to return on Monday or Tuesday to Springfield, where she believes they will vote to override Quinn’s changes.
The changes proposed by Quinn include restrictions against guns in places that serve alcohol, limits on the number of rounds of ammunition a gun can hold, and allowances to businesses and towns to regulate guns.
“The changes are very restrictive,” Rezin said. “That’s how we got where we are in the first place.” Illinois is currently the only state in the union to not allow some form of concealed carry.
In December, a federal appeals court determined the restriction was unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to change its laws.
Those 180 days are up July 9, when the state will either pass a law that has some rules governing concealed carry or a concealed carry will go into effect without uniform regulation.
State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris) called the amendatory veto “ridiculous” and emphasized that current bans on concealed carry become void after next week’s deadline.
“This will create an unworkable patchwork of different concealed carry laws throughout Illinois, with potentially different laws as people travel from town to town, or down the interstate,” Roth said. “We need a single firearms carry law governing all of Illinois and I urge the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate to call the legislators back to Springfield to override Governor Quinn’s ridiculous amendatory veto.”
Roth said the bill that passed was a compromise to which Democrats and Republicans both in Chicago and downstate agreed. She accused Quinn of playing politics.
“The governor decided to kick off his re-election campaign today by trashing the hard work of the General Assembly and ignoring the mandate of the United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Roth said.
“I believe the people of Illinois would be better served by a governor more focused on governing and not campaigning.”
One of Quinn’s challengers in the upcoming gubernatorial race, Bill Daley, issued a statement after the veto, calling Quinn’s move a “stunt.”
“Because Governor Quinn failed to push for changes he made today during the spring session, we have a bad bill without universal background checks or a ban on high capacity magazines, and his amendatory veto stunt likely will not change that at all,” Daley said.
“Real leaders like Mayor Mike Bloomberg have led on gun safety issues, but Governor Quinn has failed.”
The Grundy County Rules Committee met Monday, prior to Quinn sending his revisions to the legislature, and voted to have Grundy County Board Chairman Ron Severson write a letter in support of the concealed carry bill and encouraging Quinn to sign it.
Severson said Tuesday if Quinn sent it back, the county would send a letter asking him to reconsider signing it. The letter is supposed to go before the full county board Tuesday, July 9, for a vote — the same day as the court-ordered deadline for concealed carry to go into effect.
State’s Attorney Jason Helland and Sheriff Kevin Callahan agreed to sign the letter with Severson and the other county board members who decide to put their names to it if it is approved.
“I feel the representatives of the people of Grundy County need to voice their opinions to Springfield,” said Severson.
“It’s an important issue for a lot of people in Grundy County,” he said.
Staff Writer Christina Chapman-Van Yperen contributed to this report.