IL legalizes concealed carry; Governor disappointed

By Anna Yee

July 9, 2013 Updated Jul 9, 2013 at 10:10 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- It is a day to be remembered forever in the capitol.

On July 9th, 2013, Illinois became the 50th and final state in the nation to allow citizens the right to carry concealed weapons in public.

Both the House and Senate went against the Governor and overrode his amendatory veto, but there's still work to be done to put a bullet through the state's biggest target yet.

It all came down to the Senate's vote on the last day to legalize concealed carry in Illinois.

The House overrode the Governor's amendatory veto earlier on Tuesday, without discussion.

"I think it's very, very disappointing," said Gov. Pat Quinn, (D) IL. "More than ever, I'm committed to getting follow up legislation passed."

The legislation that did pass will go into effect once law enforcement gets a system in place, but FOID card-holding citizens can now apply for permits to carry a concealed firearm, which also requires background checks and extensive training.

"Sixteen hours of training, which is the highest amount in the entire country," said IL Senator Darin LaHood, (R) 37th District, "and you look at those provisions there. I think it adequately protects the public."

Some places will still ban concealed weapons, like schools, parks, and certain bars.

"In particular bars, maybe Crusen's in Peoria, you wouldn't be able to take your gun into Crusen's, because they do more than 50% of their business on liquor," said IL Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, (D) 92nd District.

But the state's biggest problem is still left unsolved, and lawmakers aren't holding back, firing shots of criticism at the Governor on pension reform.

"He called us down here today," said IL Senator Jason Barickman, (R) 53rd District. "You don't see him. We don't hear from him."

"The governor continues to put pressure on the group for coming up with a timetable," said IL Senator Dave Koehler, (D) 46th District, "but it's an important thing to note that unless you have 36 votes, anything that we pass this summer that is short of a super majority has a start date of next year, so let's take the time, and let's do this right."

A conference committee may meet next week on pensions to move the issue forward, with or without the governor present.

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