* The rest of my weekly newspaper column…
One of the biggest issues Quinn harped on earlier this month when he used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite the concealed carry bill was that “guns and alcohol don’t mix.” So his veto prohibited all concealed carrying in any restaurant which also served alcohol.
“Do you think trained and licensed Illinois citizens should be able to carry concealed, loaded handguns into restaurants that serve alcohol?” respondents were asked in a Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll taken July 10.
An overwhelming 70 percent said “No.” Just 26 percent said “Yes” and only 4 percent were uncertain.
A whopping 83 percent of Chicagoans were opposed, 77 percent of suburban Cook County residents and 73 percent of collar county residents also were opposed. Support was highest among Downstaters, at 38 percent, but a majority of 55 percent still were opposed.
The General Assembly did not include the ban on carrying in restaurants in a compromise bill that failed to pass last week. The omission was sharply criticized by the governor.
A lobbyist with a gun control group confidently predicted last week that if the proposal got to the House and Senate floors it would pass easily. The poll shows why.
The problem is getting the idea to the floor. Legislative leaders don’t want to substantially alter their agreement on the concealed carry bill before the ink is even dry on the new law. But this appears to be a very powerful issue and pressure will most certainly build to move something next spring.
More on that poll here.