Illinois finally became the last state in the country to allow for the some form of public possession of concealed firearms on Tuesday (technically — I don’t tend to count DC, New York, California, and etcetera’s versions of concealed carry as really in the spirit of protecting Second-Amendment rights), after both chambers of their state legislature agreed to override Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s attempt to rewrite the comromise bill they approved more than a month ago. The court was working to a deadline handed down to them from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in December that it’s unconstitutional for the state to have a blanket ban on concealed carry. It will still probably take about six to nine months for the state police to set up a system and start accepting permits, and it’s going to be a relative lengthy process for applicants, but let’s go ahead and mark this one down in the “Huzzah!” category:
The Senate voted 41-17 in favor of the override Tuesday afternoon after the House voted 77-31, margins that met the three-fifths threshold needed to set aside the amendatory veto. Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearm at a time.
Quinn had predicted a “showdown in Springfield” after a week of Chicago appearances to drum up support for the changes he made in the amendatory veto. The Chicago Democrat faces a tough re-election fight next year and has already drawn a primary challenge from former White House chief of state Bill Daley, who has criticized the governor’s handling of the debate over guns and other issues.
Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from southern Illinois, predicted a history-making day in which lawmakers would dismiss Quinn’s changes as politically motivated.
“He’s trying to cater to, pander to Cook County,” Phelps said, referring to the nation’s second most-populous county, which encompasses Chicago. “And I don’t blame him … because that’s where his votes are.”
The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours — longest of any state — to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150.
Chicago, of course, is the state’s liberal epicenter, but there are plenty of state lawmakers of both stripes from rural districts that have long been pushing for the legislation, and Quinn’s last-ditch effort to politic to the city’s gun-control enthusiasts was nothing doing, via Bloomberg:
Lawmakers today slammed the governor for not suggesting changes when the bill was going through the legislative process.
“This sends a strong message to the governor,” said Democratic Representative Brandon Phelps, the bill’s main sponsor, adding that Quinn’s changes were “grandstanding, and he should be ashamed of himself.”
The General Assembly approved the bill May 31 after months of negotiations. Today was the deadline to enact a law. …
While gun-control advocates — most in urban areas — have pushed for stronger restrictions after the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting that left 26 students and adults dead, opponents from rural and suburban areas have countered with claims that such atrocities could be eliminated or reduced if more citizens were armed.
Really, though. Do the holdouts honestly still suppose that there’s really no correlation between the fact that Illinois is only just allowing for concealed carry permits, and that Chicago is a hotbed of gun violence?