Area legislators likely to oppose governor's gun bill veto

Area legislators likely to oppose governor's gun bill veto

CHAMPAIGN — Lawmakers should have no trouble overriding Gov. Pat Quinn's amendatory veto of a concealed carry bill next Tuesday, based on the reaction of East Central Illinois legislators.

The General Assembly has until Tuesday, under a federal courts deadline, to pass a concealed-carry bill before Illinois' current ban — the only one in the nation — is abolished and Illinois would become an "open carry" state.

Even the lone Democratic lawmakers from the area — Sen. Mike Frerichs of Champaign and Rep. Naomi Jakobsson of Urbana — indicated Tuesday that they'll likely vote to overturn Quinn's rewrite of HB 183. The original bill had passed the Senate, 45-12, and the House, 89-28, on the last day of the spring session. Both Frerichs and Jakobsson had voted for the bill.

Overriding Quinn's changes will require at least 71 votes in the House and 36 in the Senate.

Among the governor's revisions:

— A blanket prohibition on guns where alcohol is served.

— Allowing individuals to carry no more than one weapon and an ammunition clip with no more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

— Preserving the right of home-rule communities such as Champaign, Urbana, Danville and Chicago to enact future weapons bans.

— Barring possession of concealed weapons in churches, businesses and homes, unless a sign is posted that gives permission. The original bill required churches, businesses and homes to display a sign if they wanted to prohibit concealed weapons.

Frerichs, contacted Tuesday afternoon, said he hadn't had a chance to read Quinn's revisions to the bill but that "I think that the legislation was the result of compromise and months of talks. I think it would have been more helpful if the governor had involved himself earlier in the process."

Frerichs declined to state firmly that he would vote to override.

"I have not read the governor's amendatory veto so it would be hard for me to comment with any certainty," he said. "But I can tell you I was involved in negotiations, and I thought that both sides had some give and take and compromise on the original bill and it was something that I supported."

Although Frerichs voted for the concealed-carry bill, that was before he indicated he would be a candidate for state treasurer. But he said that wouldn't matter.

"It's a bill like any other that I have to vote on. I was elected to represent my constituents. That's what I try to do," he said.

Other downstate Democratic senators said they also would vote to override the Quinn veto.

Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill said, "It's disappointing that the governor decided now to weigh in. However, I am confident that we have the numbers to override the governor's veto."

Sen. John Sullivan of Rushville said, "Quinn has ignored the will of the people, the courts and the General Assembly."

Jakobsson said she too likely would vote to override Quinn's changes.

"I'm pretty sure they have the votes to override the amendment," said Jakobsson. "There are parts of the amendment that maybe some people would like and some people wouldn't but you can't pick and choose."

She noted that she had voted for the bill, primarily because the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, had include a provision she requested.

"At this point that is what I am thinking," she said. "I went to him at the time and I said, 'Thank you. You now have my vote.'"

Republicans lawmakers said they think there will be plenty of support to override Quinn's revisions.

"This is disappointing," said Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. "The governor knew this deadline existed. He had known it since Dec. 11 so we're coming up on seven months now. Rather than actively insert himself into the negotiations on a bill that he knows has to become law, he decided to make a few speeches, issue a few press releases and then rewrite the bill.

"That's not leadership. That's reminiscent of his predecessor (Gov. Rod Blagojevich) who didn't actively engage in governing but governed by speech and press releases. Hopefully the Democrat leaders will not play ball with him on this one and will call the bill for an override vote when we go back in a few days.

"I think if it's called for a vote in both chambers, I think the votes will clearly exist to override in both chambers."

Rep. Adam Brown, R-Champaign, said "I think he'll be overridden, but it's very difficult to gauge how suburbanites and Chicago lawmakers are going to vote. But I would say that downstate Republicans and Democrats will work in a bipartisan fashion to support concealed carry, the measure we've already passed."

Quinn's amendatory veto was politically motivated, Brown said.

"I think it's very clear that he's in a Democratic primary and is jockeying for position," said the Champaign Republican.

Rep. Josh Harms, R-Watseka, also made note of the political considerations of the veto, with Quinn facing opposition from at least one other Democrat, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, and also possibly Attorney General Lisa Madigan, both of Chicago.

"This is just one more example of our governor playing politics instead of governing, as evidence of the circus show he put on for his veto signing in Chicago today," Harms said.

Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said it was "more than a little ironic that Gov. Quinn chose this week that we are celebrating the birth of democracy in our nation and freedom from tyranny to issue this veto. In issuing this veto, he is overruling the clear will of the people of Illinois as evidenced by the bipartisan, supermajority of votes in the democratically elected Legislature."

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rsp wrote on July 03, 2013 at 9:07 am

They said this is tyranny in their press releases and statements as they fail to work together to fix the state budget in a fair and equitable way. Meanwhile the state is broke. We now know it takes a federal court to tell them to work together and do what we are paying them for. Freedom indeed!

JeffCarroll wrote on July 03, 2013 at 9:07 am

Thank goodness the GOP has my back if I want to get drunk and dual-wield in a church with my over-compensating 30 bullet clip.

Tyranny? Gun owners kill me.

Sometimes literally.

787 wrote on July 03, 2013 at 9:07 am


Why not go ahead and do it anyway?  Why would any law on the books matter?  

Anyone who does such an act isn't going to care about any law that may or may not be in effect.

What a stupid argument, and  an even stupider comment.


JeffCarroll wrote on July 03, 2013 at 4:07 pm

By your argument, then, no law should be needed since no law serves as a deterrent to a crime. Or is that not what you're saying? Why does a law that prohibits the shooting of an individual by a gun deter a potential crime when a law that prohibits the carrying of a gun into a bar that serves liquor not serve to also deter a potential crime?

What gun owners don't acknowledge in their drive to increase the rate of gun ownership and weaken the laws prohibiting certain public behaviors with guns is that it also decreases the society's mores against the use of guns, in general.

dwitt858 wrote on July 03, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Are you serious, Jeff? Do you honestly, for 2 seconds, believe that concealed carry is going to result in mass shootings? I would like to know why you think this would result from concealed carry. You're obviously not a fan of guns, and I fully respect that. That being said, don't vilify people who are gun owners, but clumping them in to a group of idiots, who would do what you said, knowing full well, what they are going to do is wrong.

JeffCarroll wrote on July 03, 2013 at 4:07 pm

The veto is not about concealed carry, but about setting reasonable limits on the locations where guns can be concealed.

But what I see as reasonable and what gun owners see as reasonable differ. As long as the gun owners in this country are going to argue against ANY limits to the places  they can carry guns and the destructive force presented by those guns, I'll gladly lump them in with the idiots, because I don't know which is worse--those that want to break the laws that are on the books, or those that want to eliminate those laws entirely.

Speakerman11 wrote on July 03, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Somebody please humor me and explain why downstate gets it, but Chicago is forever a redheaded step child in Kmart?  Its like Quinn wakes up and is like, 'how can I screw things in the nicest way possible today?'

highspeed wrote on July 03, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Point is no matter how many laws or how strict the laws, if a person is intent on breaking it he/she will.There was nothing wrong with the 183 as it was written and voted on. To try and add to it for political gain is ludicrous. People break laws everyday, especially when they are driving!! 

billbtri5 wrote on July 03, 2013 at 6:07 pm

if gun laws reduced violence Illinois would be the safest state in the Union...yet these knuckleheads keep wanting more, meanwhile criminals using guns are rarely charged with any gun related laws...check this paper for details...

ElmerFudd wrote on July 03, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Are you "anti-gun and anti-carry" people not aware that when you travel to any other states that people ARE carrying legaly and there are no "wild west shoot outs"?? Or do none of you come out of your homes because you're afraid?