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Illinois governor vetoes parts of concealed carry gun bill

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivers his State of the State address to the joint session of the General Assembly in the House Chambers of th
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivers his State of the State address to the joint session of the General Assembly in the House Chambers of th

By Greg McCune

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday vetoed parts of a gun bill that would have allowed people to carry more than one gun, carry guns into some places that serve alcohol, and carry a partly exposed gun.

Flanked by parents of gun violence victims, Democrat Quinn said at a press conference that he objected to at least nine provisions of the new Illinois concealed carry measure that was passed by the legislature.

"This is a flawed bill with serious safety problems that must be addressed," Quinn said.

After the press conference, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Democrats, said through aides that they would hold votes on July 9 to override Quinn's veto.

While Quinn's Democratic party has large majorities in the legislature, the issue of gun control has divided the party along urban-rural lines.

Many lawmakers from Chicago, which has experienced a surge in gun violence, want tighter gun control laws. In more rural areas, lawmakers prefer more permissive rules. Both Cullerton and Madigan represent Chicago districts.

If the state legislature votes to accept the changes proposed by Quinn, the revised measure would become law. If the legislature overrides Quinn's veto, the original version would become law. If the proposal becomes law it would be a victory for the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobby for gun owners.

Illinois is the only state in the United States that bans residents from carrying a concealed gun in public. The state law was struck down in December by a federal appeals court, which said the law violated the Constitutional right to bear arms. The court gave Illinois six months to draft a new law.

The debate over gun control heated up last December, when 20 children and six adults were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

On Tuesday, Quinn vetoed a provision that would allow guns in some places that serve alcohol such as restaurants, one that would allow more than one gun to be concealed, and another that would allow any gun carried to be partly exposed outside clothing.

Quinn also said any ammunition clip carried with a concealed gun should hold no more than 10 bullets. The bill does not limit the number of bullets.

The Illinois constitution allows a governor to veto part of a bill or all of it. The legislature can overrule the governor by a vote of a three-fifths majority in both chambers. The concealed carry law passed on the last day of the spring session of the legislature by majorities exceeding three-fifths in both chambers.

(Reporting By Greg McCune; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou and Bob Burgdorfer)

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