The Illinois General Assembly voted Tuesday to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the concealed carry bill making Illinois the last state in the country to legalize the concealed carry of guns.
The House voted 77-31. The Senate 41-17.
The clock was ticking and the deadline was midnight for Illinois to act after the federal court ruled the state’s prohibition was unconstitutional.
The Senate tried to incorporate some of Quinn’s suggestions in a separate bill requiring house approval before becoming law. Things like forcing anyone with a concealed weapon to tell police about it the minute they are stopped by law enforcement; or, steering all mental health reportings to the Illinois State Police instead of the health department since state police are the ones who process concealed carry licenses.
But it failed in the House with a 62-47 vote, showing just how hard it is to get support for more restrictions.
While the state is moving forward to get Illinois on par with the rest of the country when it comes to concealed carry gun legislation, Chicago’s mayor is quick to recognize laws that apply to the rest of Illinois could be problematic for the city.
“Gun control is essential,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “If they try to create a bill that represents the whole state, I think we need to make it clear Chicago is different than downstate and we had a stark reminder of that this weekend.”
Emanuel wants three things to help drive down crime and homicides: He wants an assault weapon ban, a comprehensive background checks on a national level and a minimum three year sentence for violating gun laws with a mandatory 85% of sentence served.
City Hall will be a busy place next week. On Wednesday, Emanuel is calling a special session where he expects to see a ban on assault weapons pass in Chicago.
Tuesday’s vote on concealed weapons marks the end of the session. Lawmakers have adjourned until the fall.