Illinois House Approves Guns Plan Opposed by Governor
By Brian Mackey, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
The Illinois House Friday approved legislation that would let gun owners carry concealed firearms in public.
Although the N-R-A is officially neutral on this proposal, opponents of concealed carry say the legislation was written to please gun-rights supporters.
The measure not only creates a system for concealed-carry -- it would wipe away all local gun laws in counties, cities, and towns across Illinois, even those that have nothing to do with concealed carry.
The legislation passed by a wide margin, 85-30, but it's opposed by Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton.
Gov. Quinn said he will work to "stop it in its tracks."
Cullerton said the elimination of local control is "offensive," and so broad it could block towns even from enforcing zoning laws against gun shops.
The measure brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan also would allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public, with some restrictions.
Cullerton says another problem with Madigan's bill is that it would allow people to bring guns into some places that serve alcohol.
Cullerton said his Democratic caucus will meet Monday to decide whether to vote on the House's bill.
He said his chamber also is revising a Senate gun bill that would adopt some of the House's suggested restrictions.
A federal court said Illinois has until June 9 to pass some sort of law allowing people to carry guns in public.