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Ill. committee passes gun bill despite veto threat from Quinn

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn sent a message Tuesday asking lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow concealed carrying of firearms.  But an Illinois House committee ignored Quinn and advanced the measure.   It could be called for a floor vote this week.

Quinn says he doesn't want residents carrying loaded guns.

"I don't think that's healthy if you're going to the grocery store, you bump into somebody accidentally and they take offense, they can pull out a loaded concealed handgun to assuage their anger," Quinn said.

Quinn made his comments while standing with the State Police Director and members of an anti-violence commission in Chicago.  But supporters of concealed carry have been working to building momentum for their effort, including support from the state sheriff's association.  

House sponsor, Democratic Representative Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg calls Quinn's stance "disappointing."

"All we're doing is giving law abiding citizens their voice," Phelps said. "And I think this deserves a floor debate, and we're going to call it on Thursday, probably."

Phelps says his proposal is "watered down."  He says gun-owners would not be able to bring their weapons to government buildings, courthouses, most bars, casinos, and stadiums. 

The governor also says he's against a system that would allow downstate residents to carry guns in their pockets, but forbid it in Chicago.  

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states that prohibit concealed carry for licensed gun owners.