NRA lobbyist after concealed-carry bill’s failure: ‘I don’t know what else to say’

SHARE NRA lobbyist after concealed-carry bill’s failure: ‘I don’t know what else to say’
SHARE NRA lobbyist after concealed-carry bill’s failure: ‘I don’t know what else to say’

Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association pictured here during a February hearing on concealed-carry legislation, is unclear what happens now that the House rejected an NRA-backed bill that would let Illinoisans carry their guns in public. | John H. White~Sun-Times

With reporting by Zach Buchheit

SPRINGFIELD-Here’s a transcript of the question-and-answer session National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde had late Thursday with the Statehouse press corps after the defeat of an NRA-backed concealed-carry bill in the House:

Q: What’s the next step?

A: “I don’t know. Right now, we’re going to have to step back and see what the roll call looked like. We had more people telling us that they were inclined to vote for this version with some changes that there were. Obviously, we made movements, and I don’t know what else to say.”

Q: What else can you give?

A: “We’re going to stick to ‘shall issue.’ We’re going to stick to the preemption clause. Chicago’s not going to get their own permitting system. You know, I don’t know. I guess there are enough people that think they’re not going to vote for anything and that the best thing to do is to go over the cliff.”

“A lot of us were drug kicking and screaming to some of the changes, but the object was to pass a bill. And it was to pass a good bill. And so we made an end run at it, but it seems no matter how far we negotiate and we move, it never seems to be enough for certain people. So I’m not sure if there’s much left for us to talk about. We’ve proved that we can kill a bad bill, and if the Senate offers up bad language, we’ll do the same thing we did here in the House. We’ll kill it because I don’t think it does Rep. Phelps or any other hardcore supporter to go back home saying that they got a quarter of a loaf instead of a whole loaf.”

Q: What happens on June 9?

A: “If nothing happens, the likelihood is that we’re going to have a court injunction. And if you’ve got a valid FOID card, you’re going to be able to carry a firearm in this state. The court won’t write a carry law. They have a very specific purpose, and that is to find the UUW statute in the state of Illinois unconstitutional and issue an injunction against the state’s enforcement of that law. That’s the court’s role in this. Then you might see some municipalities try to do their own thing but they are likely to face the same hurdles that the state has.”

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