CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn sought to stall a push to allow concealed carry of firearms in Illinois, saying Tuesday that he would veto any measure lawmakers sent him that would allow citizens to walk around with loaded guns in public.
"I don't think we're in the business of trying to increase danger to the people of Illinois. We want to work with our law enforcement and prevent bad things from happening," the governor said at a morning news conference.
The threat of a veto from Quinn did little to deter supporters who have been emboldened by last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that tossed out Chicago's long-standing gun ban.
Hours after Quinn announced his opposition in Chicago, a House committee recommended approval of the latest version of a concealed-carry measure. Illinois and0 Wisconsin are the only two states without some form of such a law.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde said Quinn "seems to have a tin ear on what the needs of this state are." He said he's close to building enough support to pass legislation in the House and maintained that the Senate is an easier sell.
But it could be difficult for the gun rights lobby to overturn a veto should the measure land on the governor's desk.
Because the bill could overrule local gun ordinances, supporters would need a three-fifths vote — not a simple majority — in both the House and Senate to sidestep a veto.