Ill. Gov. Quinn opposes House compromise guns bill


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn opposes the compromise gun-carry legislation that the Illinois House is readying for a floor vote on Friday.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the legislation is "a massive overreach" because it would overturn all existing local gun laws on the books. Those include a Chicago ban on assault-style weapons. Anderson says that would endanger the public.
The legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons got House committee approval Thursday. The plan was brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan, who like Quinn is a Chicago Democrat. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the speaker thought it was best to have "one law for one state" to minimize confusion.
A federal appeals court ruled that the Illinois ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional.

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Earlier story:

MARION, Ill. - Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not have a concealed carry gun ordinance.  Lawmakers have until June 9 to change that after a federal circuit court ruled not allowing concealed carry is unconstitutional.

A house committee passed a concealed carry bill on Wednesday and now the measure will head to the House floor.

People in Illinois often describe the political climate as Cook County versus everywhere else.

Democratic State Representative Brandon Phelps says that rings especially true in the gun debate.

"I'm tired of having Cook County and Chicago telling the rest of us law abiding gun owners what to do," said Phelps.

The new bill includes rules on where you can and cannot carry your firearm, as well as a fee of $150 for a license that stays active for five years.

"At the end of the day that's not much per year to have this constitutional right that we've never had in Illinois," said Phelps.

The bill will also eliminate the ability for cities and counties to make their own rules regarding guns.

"No home rule ordinance can ever do another gun ordinance in their town. Anything to do with firearms has to come before the general assembly," said Phelps.

Local 6's Facebook fans are always vocal when it comes to the gun debate.

In about an hour, more than 50 viewers sounded off in favor of concealed carry, with one person coming out against the bill.

Christ Jetter explained his choice in part by saying: "All it does is feed into a hero fantasy that people have that they will stop a bad guy with their trusty gun. I hate going to the grocery store with my son, knowing that there are plenty of people in the building carrying a loaded gun."

But Phelps is confident.

"We've got to start somewhere. We think this is a good starting point and I really believe we're going to pass this out of the House tomorrow," said Phelps.

He says it is time for Illinoisans to have their 2nd Amendment right.

Phelps also said that while he is very confident the bill will pass in the House, he is uncertain about the Senate will lean.

He says that vote will be more of a toss-up.