PEORIA — Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the concealed carry legislation is expected to be nothing more than a speed bump, according to some local supporters of the bill.
Quinn sent down the bill Tuesday morning after inserting some stricter gun control provisions into the legislation to be considered by the General Assembly. Those provisions include a call to disallow concealed weapons in any establishment that serves alcohol, restricts the number of guns and ammunition that can be carried and clarifies language to redefine a “concealed firearm” to be fully concealed rather than mostly.
Lawmakers have until July 9 to put into place legislation allowing concealed carry as ordered by a federal appellate court decision in December. House Bill 183 was introduced by state Rep. Brandon Phelps and passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 89 to 28 and the Senate by a vote of 45 to 12.
Bill Hall, a Bradley University professor emeritus of political science, said both houses of the General Assembly would have to vote to accept Quinn’s changes. If either votes against it, the bill is treated like a standard veto, and would need a three-fifths vote to pass in its original form.
However, state Sen. Dave Koehler, who voted in support of House Bill 183 as part of a super majority that passed the bill on May 31, was confident Quinn’s veto will be overruled when it hits the Senate floor again.
“(The bill) passed with overwhelming bipartisanship the first time,” Koehler said, indicating he expected a similar result the second time around. “We need to get this thing behind us.”
John Meek, owner of Midwestern Firearms Co. in East Peoria, said Quinn’s veto was frustrating because the bill is likely to pass anyway.
“The changes will not be pushed through — (Quinn’s) doing that just for political gain,” Meek said. “It will not affect the original bill, and I think it will be just meaningless.”
Hall wouldn’t speculate on the governor’s motives for the amendatory veto, but he suspected the move had some “heavy politicking” behind it.
“I think (Quinn) realizes he’s somewhat limited in what he can do, because it’s clear that concealed carry is coming — it’s just the form it comes in and limitations that are left,” he said.
Jesse O’Brien can be reached at 686-3257 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jesseobrien.