Gov. Pat Quinn added new restrictions to a concealed carry law today — despite doubts that state lawmakers in Springfield will go along with the changes.

By Benjamin Yount

SPRINGFIELD  —  No one expected Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to sign the state’s recently approved concealed-carry law without making some changes.

But that doesn’t mean concealed carry supporters are happy about Quinn’s amendatory veto.

Quinn has long been a gun control advocate and has voiced his displeasure with a federal court ordered that forced Illinois to allow citizens to legally carry a gun outside of their home.

Illinois is the last state in the nation with a blanket ban on carrying a weapon.

Quinn today re-wrote Illinois concealed carry law to limit people to carrying one gun and just 10 rounds of ammunition, to allow local cities to ban assault weapons within their borders, and flip the foundation of concealed carry in Illinois and ban guns by default.

Local businesses would have to choose to allow weapons on their property, under the Quinn version of the law. The legislature had adopted provisions that would give people a right to carry and force businesses to notify people when they are not allowed to carry a weapon.

“I don’t believe in compromising public safety. And I don’t believe in negotiating public safety,” Quinn said at Chicago news conference that veered between a bill signing and a campaign rally.

Phelps said lawmakers are scheduled to come back next week, ostensibly to deal with pensions, but he expects a quick vote on the governor’s additions to the concealed carry law.

“I don’t think it matters what he does, to be honest,” Phelps said. “We have a compromise with both chambers, both sides of the aisle, and (Chicago). If we keep our numbers like we did the first time we voted for this concealed-carry bill, we can override any veto or amendatory veto that he has.”

Quinn said lawmakers instead need to vote their conscience.

“Those who are mouthpieces for the NRA, they ought to realize Democracy is all about taking a stand,” Quinn said. “You are either for public safety or against it.”

But despite what looks like an inevitable victory for concealed-carry supporters, Phelps said he is upset at how the governor is grandstanding on the issue.

“The only thing we have in Springfield is our word,” Phelps said.

The governor, he said, “was very much aware of the compromise deal … he got six of the seven things that he wanted … He knows about this process, he should not play politics with this process, and shame on him for doing that.”

Phelps is not the only state lawmakers taking issue with Quinn’s changes. A cavalcade of Democrats and Republicans predicted failure for the governor within minutes of his announcement.

“I am disappointed—but not surprised—Gov. Quinn waited so long to veto concealed carry while he tried to score political points,” said Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park. “Even though he has put lawmakers in a difficult position, I am optimistic that we will be able to override his veto and finally get a law on the books.”

“In issuing this veto he is overruling the clear will of the people of Illinois as evidenced by the bi-partisan, supermajority of votes in the democratically elected legislature,” Sen Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said. “I am confident that we will return to override his veto shortly in the same bi-partisan fashion as originally passed (concealed carry).”

If lawmakers override the governor’s concealed carry changes, the clock begins for Illinois residents who want to carry a gun.

The proposed law gives the Illinois State Police six months to establish the bureaucracy for concealed carry.

Phelps said residents in Illinois should be able to carry a gun by early 2014, but he said he hopes it doesn’t take that long.

Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote Monday on adopting an ordinance that would ban assault weapons, in an effort to get the ban on the books within the 10-day window for adopting such restrictions in the original bill passed by the state legislature.

Contact reporter Benjamin Yount at

Join the Conversation


  1. Quinn just like the rest

    Corruption runs deep in this state. Quinn is as corrupt as the leadership in the Illinois house and senate. Does he wonder why Illinois is the only one, out of 50 states, that does not have a concealed carry law. Everybody should remember that Quinn had to make a last minute deal with the Illinois public sector unions to get elected. In some states he would have been prosecuted for that.

  2. State’s rights?

    Whatever happened to the Republicans and their devotion to and love of state's rights?

    1. WHAT???

      While most people agree that the constitution grants states rights for anything not covered by the constitution, how does states rights enter into the second amendment? Or does Quinn feel that he is not bound by the constitution?

      1. Gun ownership

        The second amendment says you can own a gun. It does not say that you can do with it whatever you want.

          1. Maybe for Reader’s Digest …

            "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state"

            The gun-lover's least favorite section seems particularly relevant on a day like today. It's like they want the rights without the responsibilities.

            Happy Independence Day.

          2. Text of the Second Amendment

            Text of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution:
            A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
            If you have a problem with certain parts of the US Constitution, you have a right to go through the amendment process.

          3. Am I the only one who is

            Am I the only one who is noticing the "Well Regulated" part? If you want a gun fine. Be part of the national defense and it will be regulated. I also see no part in there that says anything about  "gun" or "as many of any kind you wish" or the "right to concealed arms."

            Quit ignoring some parts and adding others. And by the way, to bear arms in constitutional times did not actually mean hold a gun. It meant to serve in the defense. Then can we look at the First Amendment? It clearly says "no law" shall infringe on free speach, but we have trampled all over that one. Stop picking the words and phrases you like.

          4. Let’s get it right

            There are 2 parts to the 2nd amendment. Part one deals with "Well Regulated". Part two deals with the "right of the people to keep and bear arms". If you would spend a little time and research the issue, you might get it right.. Also, the word "bear" meant that the people should be allowed to carry arms. It did not, does not, mean to serve in defense. You must have got your information from a progressive blog. There is a lot more that I could teach you but I'm not going to waste my time on this subject.

  3. Bravo to the governor!

    Hooray hooray for Governor Quinn for enacting an amendatory veto, and for what strikes me as eminently reasonable changes in the interests of public safety.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *