Illinois lawmakers pass concealed carry bill

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Gun owners in Illinois will be able to carry concealed weapons in public by early next year.

Both the House and Senate originally hammered out the compromise bill in late May, but it was vetoed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. Today, lawmakers over-rode that veto, clearing the way for concealed carry in Illinois, the only state in the nation without it.

Gov. Quinn had wanted more restrictions included in the bill, including limiting citizens to carry one concealed weapon at a time, and banning weapons from bars. He called the voteĀ  "extremely disappointing" and the wrong move for public safety in the state.

"Despite my objections, members of the General Assembly surrendered to the National Rifle Association in the waning days of session and passed a flawed bill that allows people to carry guns in establishments that serve alcohol and allows people to carry unlimited guns and unlimited high-capacity ammunition magazines", he said in a press released issued after the votes.

The clock had nearly expired on a federal court order requiring lawmakers to take some kind of action on a conceal carry bill, after its long-standing ban was ruled unconstitutional.

Illinois State Police will begin accepting applications in about six months.