Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

What the Governor’s Amendatory Veto Means for Illinois’ Concealed Carry Law

The big news of the day is that Governor Quinn made an amendatory veto to the Concealed Carry bill (HB 183). It is uncertain what the ultimate consequence of the amendatory veto will be, but ZRFM wants to provide our local government clients an overview of the implications of the governor’s action.

An amendatory veto is a power that only a few states’ governors possess, and while it is considered a veto in most ways, it allows the governor to recommend changes to a bill that has already passed both chambers of the General Assembly. Generally speaking, the proposed changes are then sent back to both chambers who can vote to approve the bill as amended by the governor if each chamber approves it by a majority vote.  The chambers could also override the veto by a 60% vote in each chamber.  Another possibility is that the amendatory veto does not have enough votes to pass both chambers or enough votes to override it either.  A simple illustration would be if 55% of each chamber wanted to override the bill and only 45% wanted to pass the amendments, then a deadlock could occur.  There is an additional safeguard that allow the chambers the ability to vote to approve the amendatory veto after it is determined that there are not enough votes to override the veto.  So theoretically senators and representatives could first vote to override the veto, but then still decide to vote in favor of the amendments if the override fails.

The items that Governor Quinn is seeking to amend within the bill prominently include:

  • granting home rule governments the ability to regulate assault weapons on an ongoing basis, beyond the ten (10) days after the bill is enacted;
  • changing the presumption that private property owners must display signs to restrict firearms on their premises, instead the presumption would be that firearms are not allowed;
  • limiting a concealed carry licensee to carry only one firearm and no more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition;
  • requiring licensees to inform law enforcement officers during stops that they are carrying a weapon;
  • more clearly defining “concealed” to mean a completely concealed instead of a mostly concealed firearm; and
  • prohibiting concealed carry licensees from bringing firearms into any establishment that sells alcohol, instead of only those establishments that derive 50% or more of their income from alcohol sales.

While we cannot speak for what the outcome will be, the only state law that specifically prohibits people from carrying firearms in public places will be invalidated as of July 10 if some form of the bill does not pass before then (although a FOID card would still be required for a person to own or generally possess a firearm). If the bill does pass in either original or amended form, however, municipalities that are interested in enacting an assault weapon ordinance will have ten (10) days from the bill’s enactment to pass the ordinance, and home rule units would possibly have longer. The clock would start ticking no later than July 9 if the bill passes. We will continue to monitor the status of the bill carefully as the General Assembly reviews the governor’s amendatory veto.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart