Locals React to Concealed Carry Amendatory Veto

By: Lauren Kravets, Shannon Smith, AP
By: Lauren Kravets, Shannon Smith, AP
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The governor’s changes to House Bill 183 include revisions he believes establish a law that better protects the safety of Illinois citizens: 

·   Alcohol: HB 183 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. Illinois must keep guns out of any establishment where alcohol is consumed.

·   Home-Rule: HB183 strips the authority of home-rule governments to enact future laws on assault weapons to protect their local communities. This NRA-inspired provision is not in the interest of public safety or local communities. In fact, these provisions have nothing to do with the right to carry a concealed gun and have no place in this bill. Local governments should always have the right to strengthen their own ordinances to protect the public safety of their communities.

·   Signage: Under the 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 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.

·   Employer’s Rights: As currently drafted, this bill infringes on an employer’s ability to enact policies that ensure a safe and secure work environment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shootings are the most frequent cause of workplace fatalities. To best ensure a safe work environment, employers should have the right to enact policies that prohibit employees from carrying guns in the workplace and in the course of performing employment-related duties. 

·   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. In the interest of common sense and the common good, it should be clarified so 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. 

·   Mental Health Reporting: While HB 183 appropriately seeks to improve mental health reporting, as Governor Quinn called for during his State of the State address in February, the positive impact of these measures is limited by the lack of clarity in the notification process. Clarification is necessary to ensure these enhancements to mental health reporting prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

·   Clarification of “Concealed”: As written, the definition for "concealed firearm" includes the phrase “mostly concealed,” which would allow a licensee to walk around in public with a portion of his or her gun exposed. This is an irresponsible step towards open carry in Illinois. This insufficient provision must be clarified to ensure that when guns are carried, they are completely concealed from public view.  

·   Open Meetings Act: Under the current bill, the meetings and records of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board are entirely exempt from the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts, providing zero transparency of the meetings, budget, personnel and other aspects of this government board. Similar to the Prisoner Review Board and the Emergency Medical Services Disciplinary Review Board, the meetings and records of this board – unless otherwise exempt – should be announced, open, and available to the public.  

·   Law Enforcement: As written, the bill does not require an individual to immediately disclose to a public safety officer that he or she is in possession of a concealed firearm. In order to protect the safety of our public safety officers in the line of duty, an individual’s response to questions from law enforcement about whether they are carrying a gun should always be immediate.

 Governor Quinn also urged the people of Illinois to contact their local legislators and ask them to put public safety first and accept the governor's important changes to this legislation. Additionally, a website has been launched where people can access information about the concealed carry legislation and his amendatory veto. To find out more, please visit www.KeepIllinoisSafe.org.

 The state has been given a court-ordered deadline of July 9 to legalize carry weapons.

 

ILLINOIS (WIFR) – Just one week before a federally imposed deadline, Governor Pat Quinn is sending concealed carry back to lawmakers. Today he used his amendatory veto power to change a bill that took legislators months to hammer out.

“There are serious flaws in this bill that jeopardize the safety of the people of Illinois,” Quinn said.

The Governor’s amended bill would cap the number of firearms and ammunition that can be carried and would ban guns from any restaurant or bar where alcohol is served. These changes still need to be approved by the legislature. A number of lawmakers have vowed to override Quinn’s provisions. In fact, the original bill passed both the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities, even if a bill isn’t passed by July 9th, concealed carry will still become legal with virtually no restrictions.

“It’s ridiculous,” says State Representative John Cabello about Governor Quinn’s amendatory vetoes.

“You got people coming in to knowing the folks in certain areas are not allowed to have a weapon, they’re going to come in rob people and worse,” Cabello said.

Kim Frayne, treasurer of the Pine Tree Pistol Club believes the 10-round magazine limit is absurd.

“For example, say I’m walking on the street or going to my car in a shopping lot and four gentlemen approach me and I feel threatened, if I’m going to defend myself it’s going to take many more than 10 rounds, we’re not TV, one shot doesn’t put them down,” said Frayne.

Also, many handguns including Frayne’s hold 15 rounds. Another concern? Law enforcement could be overwhelmed with more guns on the streets, but Cabello, a former police officer says it’s not a problem in 49 other states where concealed carry is legal.

“Anytime they deal with somebody they’re thinking that this person has a weapon, they know how to handle these situations,” Cabello said.

And, if a concealed gun isn’t 100% concealed like Quinn wants, Cabello thinks that’s okay.

“If I have a shoulder holster on and I need to reach into my pocket to get my wallet and I do this, well now you’re going to be able to partly see a concealed weapon.”
Governor Quinn on the other hand says being able to see concealed weapons could make some people uneasy.

Lawmakers will likely be called back to Springfield next week. They either have to vote for or against the amendments as a package. Cabello thinks they’ll be able to override the governor but he is concerned about getting some votes because of the ammunition limit and home rule amendments.

Changes aside, lawmakers and governor Quinn agree it’s essential, anyone who’s packing heat is properly trained. That’s why concealed carry is probably still months away from being implemented.
It could be up to 6 months before any gun owner can even start their required 16 hour training, forcing many gun shop owners to put any potential classes on hold.

Many instructors say they’re not planning any training classes just yet, because they’re not sure what specific practice will be required once the concealed carry bill is signed. We’re told those 16 hours will probably focus more on classroom work like studying legal aspects of concealed carry, instead of shooting at a gun range. Kenny Polhamus of Kap Guns believes this wait will allow more opportunities for gun owners to get properly trained.
“There’s going to be so many people out there teaching the classes that I think if you want to take a class on a Thursday night at 11:30 p.m. at night, you’re going to be able to find one somewhere close. I mean it’s just going to be that many people teaching the courses,” Kenny Polhamus.

Illinois State Police will have to figure out how to enforce concealed carry regulations before any training classes can start, however we’re told state troopers aren’t sure what their role will be until after the bill is signed.
Lawmakers have just seven days to either override Governor Quinn’s veto or approve his changes, otherwise almost anyone could carry a concealed weapon virtually anywhere. A special session has been called on July 9th.
In addition to weapons being banned from any business that serves alcohol, Quinn’s amendment says a person wouldn’t be allowed to pack heat on any private property unless the owner gives them express permission. Gun owners would only be allowed to carry one gun and one clip of ammo, guns would have to be completely concealed, employers would have the ability to ban weapons from their properties, and if you get pulled over, you’d have to tell officers a gun is in your car.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Following Governor Quinn’s action to amendatory veto the concealed carry bill, State Representative (R-Belvidere) issued the following statement:

“The Governor’s changes to the concealed carry bill would essentially gut the carefully-negotiated proposal that the General Assembly worked hard to pass this year,” explained Sosnowski. “The governor’s flawed language would create a patchwork of confusing and overly restrictive laws that would only obstruct concealed carry rights for law-abiding Illinois residents. My hope is that the Legislature returns next week to override the governor’s changes so we can finally have a responsible concealed carry law.”


CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn is changing legislation allowing the carrying of concealed guns to cap the number of firearms and ammunition that can be carried and to ban guns from any establishment where alcohol is served.

The Democratic governor is using his amendatory veto power to tweak the legislation sent to him after months of debate and negotiation over the measure.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that it was unconstitutional for Illinois to ban the public possession of concealed firearms and gave it until July 9 to comply.

Quinn says he never agreed with the court's ruling and the bill lawmakers sent him is flawed and needs changes.

The legislation permits qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo 16 hours of training to get permits for $150.


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