Illinois governor vetoes parts of concealed carry gun bill

By Greg McCune

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

If the state legislature votes to accept the changes proposed by Quinn, the revised measure would become law. But several lawmakers said they would try to override Quinn's veto, which would allow the original version to become law.

Illinois is the only state in the country to ban residents from carrying a concealed gun in public. The state law was struck down in December by a federal appeals court, which said it violated the right to bear arms in the U.S. Constitution. The court gave Illinois six months to draft a new law.

If the proposal becomes law it would be a victory for the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobby for gun owners.

Gun control has become a major national issue since 26 people, including elementary school students, were killed last December in a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. President Barack Obama proposed tighter gun controls but was stymied by Congress.

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 passed by the legislature.

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

He 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 that any ammunition clip carried along with a concealed gun should be 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.

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 seen gun violence surge, want tight gun control laws. In more rural areas hunting is popular and lawmakers prefer more permissive rules.

After the press conference, a spokeswoman for state Senate President John Cullerton said the leader would be consulting with his counterpart House Speaker Michael Madigan about scheduling a vote to override Quinn's veto.

Madigan's spokesman said he had no immediate comment.

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