Quinn: Wrigleyville An Example of Why Guns Don't Belong in Restaurants

By Kelly Bauer on July 5, 2013 1:32pm 

 Gov. Pat Quinn took to Wrigley Field to discuss his proposed changes to an Illinois concealed carry bill.
Gov. Pat Quinn took to Wrigley Field to discuss his proposed changes to an Illinois concealed carry bill.
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DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer

WRIGLEYVILLE — Gov. Pat Quinn stood at Clark and Addison — a "special corner in the land of Lincoln" — as he called Friday for the Legislature to accept his proposed changes to concealed carry legislation.

Quinn, backed by several local leaders, stood outside Wrigley Field as he talked about his amendatory veto of a proposed concealed carry law.

He explained several of his changes to the bill but focused on his proposal that guns should not be allowed in restaurants where alcohol is served, like many of those in Wrigleyville. The law prohibits concealed carry in bars.

"I said guns and alcohol do not mix. That is a toxic mixture," Quinn said.

Saying allowing guns and alcohol to mix would be a "prescription for violence and disaster," Quinn used Wrigleyville as an example of a tourist hotspot that could be endangered by the concealed carry law as it stands.

"We want people to visit our city," Quinn said. "We want to keep people safe."

Heather Way, executive director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, voiced her support for Quinn's changes to the bill during the news conference.

"We couldn't agree with the governor more," Way said. "Firearms and alcohol do not mix."

Under the proposed legislation, guns would not be allowed in large sporting venues like Wrigley Field. Glenn Keefer of the Illinois Restaurant Association questioned why, under the same legislation, concealed guns would be allowed in other establishments that serve alcohol.

"It is unwise not to recognize the risks" associated with the two, said Keefer, who said he once lost a friend to a drunken gunman outside a bar. "It is illegal to drink and drive. It should be illegal to drink and carry a gun."

Illinois has a court-ordered Tuesday deadline to pass concealed carry legislation. Some lawmakers have already said they will reject Quinn's changes, and Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, dismissed Quinn's efforts.

"I think they destroy the conceal[ed] carry bill," Pearson said. "They make it impossible for you to defend yourself outside your home with any ease at all."

Pearson said he does not think the Legislature will go along with Quinn's changes because "people are opposed to them."

"They're really a bad idea," Pearson said. "So there'll be a veto session on Tuesday ... and so we expect to override his vetoes."

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