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Quinn wants to ban concealed weapons in highly traveled public places

Illinois Gov. PQuinn. | File photo

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. | File photo

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Updated: March 7, 2013 10:15AM



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn, who will eulogize slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton at her funeral, will invoke the girl’s name in his State of the State speech Wednesday while laying out for lawmakers what one source called a “strong public-safety agenda” that would ban concealed weapons in most highly traveled public places.

Quinn’ address, which also will focus on the state’s pension-driven fiscal calamity, will be salted heavily with gun-control steps he wants enacted following the fatal shootings of Hadiya and 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Conn.

In a broad-brush manner, Quinn and his administration are expected to offer a framework of what he wants included in court-required concealed-carry legislation, including making applicants undergo fingerprinting and banning concealed guns in malls, schools, polling places, hospitals, bars, libraries, sports stadiums and government buildings, according to one source familiar with the governor’s plan.

Quinn also will renew his push for bans on the sale and possession of military-style, semi-automatic guns and the ammunition that feeds them, according to a source familiar with the governor’s gun platform.

He will call for a ban on gun purchases over the Internet without background checks and a new requirement on gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons within 24 hours, the source told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The governor also is expected to push circuit clerks across the state to more thoroughly report to the state when someone is adjudicated as mentally ill. That information is used by the Illinois State Police in screening gun-permit applicants.

While required to pass along such information to the state, only 22 of Illinois’ 102 counties did so in 2012, according to the source familiar with Quinn’s speech.

The governor will lay out his springtime gun agenda after visiting Hadiya’s family. She was shot to death on Jan. 29 at a North Kenwood park after performing as a baton-twirling majorette at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Her family requested that Quinn speak at her Friday funeral, which may include a visit from first lady Michelle Obama.

In riding the wave of public outrage over Pendleton’s unsolved murder, Quinn also will turn to another potent symbol of the gun-control movement in Illinois — Tinley Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy.

McCarthy, who will attend Quinn’s speech, was a Secret Service agent when he took a bullet intended for President Ronald Reagan during a 1981 assassination attempt.

Gun-control efforts have mostly stalled in Illinois, and there is little sense things have changed on the issue, but it nonetheless is expected to surface prominently in the spring legislative session.

That’s because a court-imposed 180-day clock is ticking on the state to craft a law permitting Illinoisans to carry concealed guns by June after a federal appeals court tossed the state’s last-in-the-nation ban on concealed carry in December.



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