Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday made sweeping changes to a bill that would allow concealed guns to be carried in public, writing in tougher regulations he deemed “common sense” amid staunch criticism from lawmakers who say they are poised to overturn his efforts when they return to Springfield next week.
Flanked by gun control advocates during a veto ceremony, Quinn argued the legislation lawmakers sent him would harm public safety by letting people carry as many guns as they wanted in places they shouldn’t be allowed.
“I think this is an example of a situation in Illinois where the legislature passed a bill in a hurried way at the inspiration of the National Rifle Association, contrary to the safety of the people of Illinois,” Quinn said after announcing the changes. “We don’t need the NRA telling us how to keep people safe in Illinois.”
The move sets up a showdown in Springfield between the Democratic governor and state lawmakers who overwhelmingly backed a rare and carefully constructed compromise on the often volatile issue of gun regulations despite ideological, cultural and geographic divisions. Lawmakers were trying to beat a federal appeals court deadline to set up rules allowing people to carry concealed weapons after judges tossed out Illinois’ last-in-the-nation ban in December.
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