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Carrying a concealed handgun

PRINCETON – Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn took amendatory veto action on legislation that will allow and regulate the carrying of concealed handguns in public places.

Bureau County Sheriff John Thompson said Quinn’s decision has a lot of people who are in support of concealed carry talking about the decision.

A lot of people recognize there are 49 states that have concealed carry legislation, and Illinois is the hold up, Thompson said.

According to a press release issued by Quinn’s office, the amendatory veto makes critical changes to several provisions that pose significant safety risks and strengthens the legislation to better protect the people of Illinois.

“This is a flawed bill with serious safety problems that must be addressed. There are too many provisions in this bill that are inspired by the National Rifle Association, not the common good. Public safety should never be compromised or negotiated away …,” said Quinn.

Thompson said he blames Quinn’s decision to not pass concealed carry legislation on “too much government” and the gun violence and crime in Chicago that can have a lot of influence on the decisions made for the state. Thompson added the government is looking past the citizens who live downstate from Chicago.

“I trust the majority of people will follow the law, and if they don’t, it’s my duty to bring them to the court system,” he said.

According to the press release, Quinn’s changes to the concealed carry bill include revisions to establish a law that “better protects the safety of Illinois citizens.” Below are stated flaws Quinn has pointed out in the current legislation:

• Alcohol: The current legislation allows people to carry guns into establishments serving alcohol and that the state must keep guns out of any establishment where it is served.

• Home-Rule: the current legislation would strip the authority of home-rule governments to enact future laws on assault weapons to communities.

• Signage: The bill would allow loaded guns in stores, restaurants, churches, children’s entertainment venues, movie theaters and other private properties, unless the owner visibly displays a sign prohibiting guns.

• Employer’s rights: The bill infringes on an employer’s ability to enact policies that ensure a safe and secure work environments.

• Number of guns and ammunition: The bill doesn’t provide a cap on the number of guns, or on the size or number of ammunition clips that may be carried.

• Mental health reporting: While the bill seeks to improve mental health reporting, the measures are limited by the lack of clarity in the notification process.

• Clarification of “concealed:” The definition of “concealed firearm” includes the phrase “mostly concealed,” which would allow a licensee to walk around in public with a portion of their gun exposed.

• Open meetings act: Under the bill, the meetings and records of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board are exempt from the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts.

• Law enforcement: The bill does not require an individual to immediately disclose to a public safety officer that they are in possession of a concealed firearm.

The state has been given a court-ordered deadline of July 9 to legalize carry weapons.

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