Our View: Quinn’s veto seems doomed, unfortunately
SouthtownStar editorial July 4, 2013 7:18PM
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:20AM
Gov. Pat Quinn used his amendatory veto power this week to propose some sweeping and sensible changes to the concealed-carry gun measure the Legislature overwhelmingly approved this spring.
Like it or not, Quinn’s move is probably an exercise in futility. Its practical effect is less likely to change the nature of Illinois’ concealed-carry law than it is to draw a political battle line for the upcoming gubernatorial race.
Tuesday is the deadline set by a federal appeals court for Illinois to adopt a law allowing its citizens to carry a gun in public, in effect forcing the state to join all other states in permitting concealed carry.
After much debate and horse-trading on the controversial issue, legislators in May overcame strong political and geographic divisions, mostly between downstate and Chicago-area members, and approved a compromise bill by strong margins.
In vetoing that legislation on Tuesday, only a week before the court deadline, Quinn made several major changes that place more restrictions on who can carry a gun and where. Some of them — such as limiting to one the number of guns people can conceal on their person — make sense.
We hope at least some of his changes are adopted and don’t cause the painstakingly crafted compromise on the bill to crumble. But that appears to be wishful thinking. Quinn’s proposals are unlikely to get far when legislators convene on Tuesday.
As some lawmakers have asked, why did the governor wait as long as he did to issue his veto? Why didn’t he press more forcefully for these proposals when the bill was being finalized? The vote on the law in May makes it seem certain that lawmakers will override Quinn’s veto.
There will be political fallout over this both for Quinn and for those who oppose his proposed changes.
Quinn faces a tough re-election fight, including at least one strong challenge from within his party. His veto would appear to bolster him in Chicago and Cook County, where support for concealed carry is weaker than elsewhere.
We’re not sure it does much for the issue at hand.