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Appeals Court Strikes Down Illinois Concealed Carry Ban

by G&A Online Editors   |  December 11th, 2012 9

Concealed-carryBreaking news from the state dubbed “FOIDistan”: A federal appeals court ruling struck down Illinois’ long-standing concealed carry ban, meaning the state would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In a 2-1 decision handed down Tuesday, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s concealed carry ban is unconstitutional.

The ruling, however, does not mean Illinois residents are immediately allowed to carry; judges have given lawmakers in Springfield 180 days to draft their own version of the law.

The judges stated:

“We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home. The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside.

“The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.

“The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment compelled the appeals court to rule the ban unconstitutional, the judges said. But the court gave 180 days to “allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.”

After Wisconsin enacted a concealed carry law on June 24, 2011, Illinois became the only state to ban concealed carry. That could change over the next 180 days, but only time will tell. In the meantime, state legislators are mulling whether to appeal the decision, or to begin drafting concealed carry legislation—with certain restrictions in place, of course.

“If we need to change the law, let us at least craft a law that is very severely constrained and narrowly tailored so that we don’t invite guns out of control on each of our city’s streets,” said Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. “I don’t want people out of control wandering the streets with guns that are out of control.”

Natalie Bauer, a spokesperson with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, added Madigan will consider the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The court gave 180 days before its decision will be returned to the lower court to be implemented,” Bauer said. “That time period allows our office to review what legal steps can be taken and enables the legislature to consider whether it wants to take action.”

The move comes months after the county board in downstate Pike County ruled that county residents could carry concealed, an effort that was spearheaded by Guns & Ammo contributing editor and Pike County resident Dick Metcalf. The ordinance marked the first time since 1862 that county law directly contradicted state law, influencing other counties south of I-80 to take similar action.

In August, McLean County State’s Attorney Ron Dozier publicly refused to prosecute anyone convicted of merely carrying a firearm, depending on the defendant’s criminal history and related charges.

The battle isn’t over yet; should the case go to the Supreme Court, Illinois residents will be forced to endure another inevitably long, drawn-out legal process, but in the meantime, they can relish the fact that the state is making headway in joining the 21st century.

  • Josiah Wyncott

    “I don’t want people out of control wandering the streets with guns that are out of control.” Says Illinois House Majority Leader, Barbara Flynn Curry. Has she not seen the homicide statistics for Chicago? Chicago is more dangerous than the Afghanistan warzone…

    • a Finn

      Guns that are in working order do not go out of control.

    • DetroitMan

      It's amazing how the hysteria persists, even in the face of a court slapdown. Statistics in other states refute here ridiculous statement completely. Guns in control of law abiding citizens who have licenses to carry do not "go out of control" and kill innocent people. Maybe she just doesn't have faith in her ability to create an effective licensing system…

    • Carl Rice

      Chicago is not the entire state of Illinois-you can`t judge the rest of the state of Illinois from Chicago————or vice versa

    • Mike

      Chicago is one of the scariest place I've lived. Beautiful and an amazing city but there is large population that carry guns for crime related reasons. Watch WGN news just once and you'll see how bad it can be. One of my most favorite cities but I wouldn't move back unless I could protect myself as I can in my current ccw state.

  • Joshua

    Restrictions on the 2nd Amendment, or any of the other Bill of Rights is unconstitutional! Lawmakers and the Supreme Court should be obligated to resign, based off the criteria that none of the Supreme Court Judges have mandated that Bill of Rights that our country was founded on were created for the people's protection and should never have been tampered with by any individual or group. The U.S. Supreme Court also has the ability to rule that the U.S. Constitution's First 10 Amendments, in addition to the U.S. Bill of Rights overrides all State Constitutions. However, that would mean setting aside special interest groups, personal agenda, turning down contributions, and enforcing true justice in regards to protecting U.S. citizen's liberties and freedoms. Regardless of what century, what state, city, or town. Quit reading into the rights conferred upon us, that were put in place to prevent a government which has taken advantage of each and everyone of us.

  • Starky

    On issues like concealed carry the proponents of it need to get the petitions out and signatures on them to put it on the ballets for a state wide vote. Let the people decide. I have yet to see anyone vote down what gives them more rights. Also once the people decide very few politicians want to commit political suicide by going against the paople. Also courts are far less likely to strike down laws passsed by a vote of the people.

  • Ralph O.

    I'm form Chicago (Edgewater) and finally I feel there's some hope for us.
    Here, only Criminals are allowed to carry their guns. Good people can't.

  • Glenn

    Too bad that the media spreads so many lies. They like to repeat, crime is rising, gun control is needed ! Actually, the exact oppisite is true. The FBI statistics that anyone can check say that in the past 20 years the crime is going down. To be specific, in 1992 the population was 255,029,699 and the murder rate from all causes was 23760 people. in 2011 we have 311,591,917 people and the murder rate has dropped to 14612. I might add that rape, robbery, Aggravated assault, property crime, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft have all decreased despite having 55 million more people in the country. Calls for gun control and not allowing concealed carry is just about control. Facts are available on FBI website.

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