A civil rights victory as Illinois enacts nation's final concealed-gun law
The last holdout on allowing the public possession of concealed guns, Illinois joined the rest of the nation Tuesday as lawmakers raced to beat a federal court deadline in adopting a carry law over Gov. Pat Quinn's objections.
Massive majorities in the House and Senate voted to override changes the Democratic governor made just a week ago in an amendatory veto.
Some lawmakers feared failure to pass something would mean virtually unregulated weapons in Chicago, which has endured severe gun violence in recent months -- including more than 70 shootings, at least 12 of them fatal, during the Independence Day weekend.
"This is a historic, significant day for law-abiding gun owners," said Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat who, in 10 years in the House, has continued work on concealed carry begun by his uncle, ex-Rep. David Phelps, who began serving in the mid-1980s. "They finally get to exercise their Second Amendment rights."