*** UPDATE 1 - 1:49 pm *** From the AP…
Gov. Pat Quinn says it would be “ironic” if the Illinois House legalized concealed carry of firearms on the same day the state honors fallen police officers.
The Chicago Democrat spoke Thursday at a ceremony for police officers killed in the line of duty.
Afterward, he told reporters that letting people carry concealed guns would reduce public safety and make life more difficult for police.
*** UPDATE 2 - 2:40 pm *** This Tweet by a Chicago reporter didn’t check out when I ran it down a couple minutes ago…
Veteran vote counters in IL House: Concealed Carry HB148 unlikely to pass. Sponsor Rep. Phelps now “maybe” on calling it.
Rep. David Phelps just told me that he’s waiting for the bill to be put on the board. “I’m running it today,” he insisted.
Yesterday, opponents claimed that the bill had between 65 and 68 votes or so. Proponents claimed they had the minimum three-fifths majority of 71 lined up. We’ll know who’s right soon enough.
*** UPDATE 3 - 3:05 pm *** Another inaccurate Tweet from the same Chicago reporter…
Desperate #ConcealedCarry supporters file last-minute amendment. Will it win a few more Reps? Delays floor vote at least 1 hour.
That amendment looks like a technical clean-up amendment. And the bill is being debated right now. Click here to watch or listen.
*** UPDATE 4 *** Live-blog…
*** UPDATE 5 *** 65-52-1. The bill needed 71 votes. It’s on postponed consideration.
*** UPDATE 6 *** I just got off the phone with an NRA member who spoke to Rep. Monique Davis a couple of months ago in her Springfield office. He says she supported the bill at that time. I’ll have more for subscribers tomorrow.
[ *** End Of Updates *** ]
* A whole lot more may be on the line than just concealed carry today…
[Gov. Pat Quinn] told reporters his opposition to the bill goes beyond the veto threat. He said he has called some House Democrats and urged them to vote “no,” setting up a potentially embarrassing defeat for either the governor or the bill’s Democratic sponsors, depending on the result of the vote.
Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, said the governor did not notify Democrats who support concealed carry before issuing his veto threat at a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday.
Asked whether Quinn’s position would affect whether Democrats back the governor on other key issues, Bradley said, “I hear that a lot in the downstate caucus.
“I am not happy about it,” Bradley said, although he said his vote personally is based on the merits of each issue. “I think a lot of us in the downstate caucus would at least have liked to have had the courtesy to know he was going to do it.”
As I told subscribers earlier this week, whatever happens, the governor may very well end up damaged. Either the bill passes and he’s seen as a loser, or the bill fails and conservative Dems become even more furious at him than they are now.
* Even so, the Tribune editorialized against the bill today…
Bottom line: Concealed-carry laws don’t seem to have a significant impact on violence one way or the other. The odds aren’t much greater that you’re going to wind up successfully defending yourself with a gun on the street, or that you’re going to mistakenly or intentionally plug somebody with a bullet. There are cases, though, where licensed holders do commit violence.
Even those who have drafted this bill seem to recognize the potential for mayhem. The bill would not allow people to carry a gun in a school, a college campus, a church, a casino, a racetrack, a stadium, a gated amusement park or, ahem, the General Assembly.
If there is such concern about keeping schools and churches and the House and Senate as gun-free zones … why not playgrounds, malls, hospitals, banks, gas stations, bowling alleys and street festivals? They’re not mentioned in the bill. Headed to the hospital? Strap up and go forth.
Employers could prohibit guns at their workplaces, if they posted signs to that effect, like an old-time saloon warning cowboys to check their six-shooters at the door. Permit-holders still could keep weapons in their cars parked at their workplace, though. How convenient for performance-review time.
* IL business groups taking no position in debate on law to allowed carrying of concealed weapons
* Illinois the epicenter of national debate about gun control