Quinn dismissed the allegations of politics, saying his job right now is to be governor. He said the court’s deadline compressed his time to review the bill. He focused on Chicago’s violence alongside speakers including the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who has led anti-violence marches, and a former Secret Service agent injured in the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.
“I don’t believe in compromising public safety and I don’t believe in negotiating public safety,” Quinn said.
Vetoes are predominantly executive measures designed to stop legislation, but the amendatory veto allows a governor to try his hand at legislating by suggesting specific changes. The intended extent of those changes has been debated since the 1970 Illinois Constitution granted the power. Only about five other states allow governors amendatory veto power.
The original legislation allows qualified gun owners who pass background checks and undergo training to get carry permits for $150.
Quinn pointed out the bill would allow people to carry more than one gun with unlimited numbers of ammunition rounds. He rewrote it to limit gun owners to carrying one with an ammunition clip holding no more than 10 rounds.
He also called for clarifying language on mental health and objected to language requiring a gun to be “mostly concealed,” saying it would lead to a law allowing guns to be carried on the hip.
He said a board considering appeals of denied permits should not be allowed to operate in secret and said gun-toting citizens should be required to notify police, when asked, that they’re carrying.
Todd Vandermyde, Illinois lobbyist for the NRA, said he doesn’t foresee anything but an override.
“They debated it; they did all of it. Once again you have a governor who doesn’t show any leadership skills or abilities,” he said.