Society

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Gets 30 Day Extension for Hotly Debated Concealed Carry Law

| by Dabney Bailey

Concealed carry has been a hot debate in Illinois ever since a court ruled that the statewide ban on concealed weapons is unconstitutional. Lawmakers have been scrambling to put together a bill before the allotted deadline, but Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan cut Governor Pat Quinn a break by petitioning to extend the deadline by 30 days.

Lawmakers cobbled together a law this week, just barely beating the June 9 deadline, so the 30 day extension will offer lawmakers a bit of breathing room to work out the details on this rushed bill. Madigan argued, “The request for an additional 30 days would allow the governor a reasonable amount of time to fulfill his state constitutional duties.” Gov. Quinn will have until July 9 to review the bill and give it his John Hancock.

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The ironic thing is that giving Gov. Quinn more time to review the bill is somewhat meaningless. Federal mandate requires that the bill becomes law, so it isn’t as though he’ll have a chance to disagree with the bill and veto it. Even if Quinn does nothing, the bill will become a law anyway. The Illinois state constitution causes bills to automatically become law after 60 days of inaction from the governor.

Sen. Gary Forby, the bill’s sponsor, argued that Quinn won’t be able to make any last minute changes becasue he'll simply be outvoted. “His games are not going to work. He needs to work on a pension reform bill and leave the gun bill alone,” Forby said. “He just needs to do his job.”

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Illinois is currently the only state in the Union that has an outright ban on concealed weapons. The pending law would allow people to carry concealed weapons in Illinois, albeit under very specific restrictions. The bill prohibits concealed weapons in places like schools, bars, and parks, but it allows gun owners to store firearms in their vehicles.

The bill won’t have any impact on local gun ordinances unless there’s a direct conflict, so Chicago’s ban on assault rifles will stay in effect. Overall, this will mark a major victory for gun rights advocates as they finally secure the last state holdout in the concealed carry debate.

Source: Sun Times