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Quinn: Tuesday a “Bad Day” for Public Safety

“Today was a bad day for public safety in Illinois,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in summing up Tuesday at the Capitol.

Quinn says outbreaks of gun violence such as shootings in a Colorado movie theatre and in a Connecticut grade school – and dozens last weekend in Chicago – are correctly tied to laws such as the one the General Assembly passed.

“There are instances (in other states) of individuals who have committed crimes – even with their concealed-carry permit,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, attempts to put new restrictions on guns in Illinois will have to wait until another day.

On the same day on which the General Assembly overrode Quinn’s amendatory veto of concealed-carry legislation, lawmakers debated – but ultimately did not pass – some of the governor’s ideas they thought had merit.

One would require local police and schools to report concealed-carry permit holders who present a “clear and present danger” to the Illinois State Police. Another would require carriers to answer police who ask if they are carrying.

The item which brought the most debate, though, would exempt schools and other places already outlawing concealed-carry on their property from posting signs. Sponsoring State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) cited the concealed-carry training necessary to obtain a permit.

“Our training program had better teach people what 23 areas they cannot carry in. They had best know and understand that if they are going to have the responsibility of carrying a loaded weapon in public.”

State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) said the new bill overlooks some dangers.

“This does not contain any expanded prohibition on guns and alcohol,” she said. “We still do not preclude the carrying of concealed, loaded weapons in places where alcohol is served.”

State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) went after Gov. Pat Quinn.

“This is nothing more than grandstanding from the governor, who had a ‘rewrite to do right,’” Reboletti said, invoking the name former Gov. Rod Blagojevich had for his amendatory vetoes. “Now we are here on July 9, when the federal court had already entered an order saying that (concealed carry cases) cannot be prosecuted in the state of Illinois.”

HB 1453 passed the Senate, 45-13, and failed in the House, 62-47. It needed a three-fifths vote to pass – 36 in the Senate and 71 in the House.

Illinois was, until Tuesday, the only state in America to forbid gun owners from carrying a concealed weapon. The state was under a court order to change that.