SPRINGFIELD-The Illinois House dealt Gov. Pat Quinn a blow Tuesday in his bid to impose an assault weapons ban in the state.
By a 78-28 vote, the legislative chamber voted to override Quinn's rewrite of original legislation that would have made it legal for gun owners to buy ammunition online from Illinois suppliers. It's already legal to do so from out-of-state suppliers.
"It's a pro-business bill. It simply said that residents in the state of Illinois could buy ammunition over the Internet from Illinois companies. Currently, they can buy ammunition over the Internet from all 49 other states but cannot buy it from an Illinois company," said state Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton), the bill's chief House sponsor.
"The governor amendatorily vetoed this bill and put language in it that made it into an assault weapons ban. I personally believe this challenges the integrity of the legislative process, that it was unconstitutional, and I ask you join me in overriding this veto," he said. "I think it would be a travesty to let this occur to our legislative process."
Even supporters of an assault weapons ban, including state Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), joined Costello's call.
"While the governor's heart may have been in the right place and I agree with the language he put in this bill, it seems very clear the governor overstepped his constitutional bounds in making the changes he made in this bill," Lang said.
The Senate already overrode Quinn's amendatory veto of Senate 681, so the House's vote makes the original bill state law. Seventy-one House votes, seven less than Tuesday's roll call, were necessary to complete the override.