Sportsmen anxious as gun bill tweaked

Springfield — Hunters and recreational shooters across the state grew more anxious as Gov. Pat Quinn swiftly changed concealed carry legislation to put limits on the number of firearms and ammunition that can be carried at any given time.

As this issue of Illinois Outdoor News went to press, it was unclear how new language placed by Quinn would affect sportsmen. And there was a close watch on how Quinn’s new language was written, with concerns that it might infringe on current processes of purchasing ammunition.

Quinn’s actions were not unexpected.

A federal appeals court had ruled back in December that it was unconstitutional for Illinois to ban the public possession of concealed firearms. The court set a deadline of June 9 for the state to comply. Attorney General Lisa Madigan had that deadline extended to July 9.

The legislation, before Quinn’s change, permits qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo 16 hours of training to get concealed carry permits for $150. On July 2, Quinn said he made the changes in the interest of public safety.

“There are serious flaws in this bill that jeopardize public safety for the people of Illinois,” Quinn said.

In a general outline made pubic on July 2, Quinn explained some of the changes he would like to see:

  • Banning guns from any establishment that serves alcohol. The bill allowed guns in restaurants if more than 50 percent of their revenue comes from food instead of alcohol.
  • Restores the ability of home-rule communities to enact a ban on assault weapons. The bill overrode home rule authority.
  • Requires places to display signs that concealed carry is allowed in them. The bill reversed that and said signs had to be displayed if weapons were prohibited.
  • Gives employers the right to ban weapons at their workplaces. The bill allowed guns at the workplace.
  • Limited a person to carrying only one concealed weapon at a time and only one ammunition magazine limited to 10 rounds.

More details on the changes were expected prior to the July 9 deadline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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