Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
Updated: August 3, 2013 6:21AM
Villages and cities across Illinois suddenly are being asked by residents to ban assault weapons.
Is there time for thoughtful research and discussion? No. A bill passed by the state Legislature in May gives local governments just 10 days, once the bill becomes law, to make that call. If a village or city blows the deadline, it has no say-so in the matter forevermore.
That’s bad public policy. Local officials need more time to move judiciously. Gov. Pat Quinn, who we’re told will act on this bill as early as Tuesday morning, should use his amendatory veto to reject this provision.
Here’s another bad provision in the bill: People will be free to carry concealed weapons into a business unless a sign is posted saying they can’t. Don’t want customers carrying in guns or employees packing heat? Get ready to post signs, sure to be seen as political statements by many folks, and be prepared to enforce the policy.
And what if someone with a gun just doesn’t see the signs? Should he or she be arrested like a criminal?
Quinn should kill that provision of the bill, too. The sensible approach would be to allow businesses that welcome concealed weapons to post a sign saying so, eliminating misunderstandings and confusion.
We realize that if Quinn deletes too many provisions, the Legislature will override his veto. But a third provision also has to go. Allowing concealed firearms to be carried into restaurants that serve liquor is a mistake.
Restaurant owners already have to deal with overserved people who become belligerent when they’re told they’re in no condition to drive home. They don’t need the extra worry that such a goof might be armed.
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unwisely started this rush last December by setting an arbitrary deadline for the Legislature to pass a concealed-carry law. Now the Legislature is rushing local governments. Quinn should slow this down.