U.S. appeals court strikes down state's concealed-carry ban
5 months ago
The state of Illinois would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons under a federal appeals court ruling issued today; Sen. Sullivan supports the ruling
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) applauded today’s ruling by the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down Illinois’ restrictive law on bearing arms outside the home. The federal court gave the General Assembly and the governor 180 days to enact concealed carry legislation
"I am extremely pleased with today’s decision and could not agree more that the time has come for Illinois to join the 49 other states where it’s legal to carry a gun for self-defense in a public place,” Sen. Sullivan said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to draft a law that finally respects Illinoisans’ Second Amendment rights and makes our state a safer place for law-abiding citizens.”
Illinois law currently prohibits carrying a loaded weapon outside one’s own home, with exceptions for hunters, law enforcement officers and a few other types of individuals. Following the United States Supreme Court’s lead, the appeals court in a 2-1 decision declared that the right to bear arms includes a right to self-defense and that people need to defend themselves and their families in a variety of settings, not just in their homes. The court suggested some restrictions would still be permissible but unequivocally stated that Illinois may no longer remain the last hold-out in the nationwide movement to allow concealed carry.
State Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) was pleased with the recent court decision that upholds an individual’s right to use a firearm in self-defense, on their property as well as outside their home.
“The court’s opinion today should help pave the way for a responsible concealed carry law here in Illinois,” said Rep. Tracy. “The legislature returns to Springfield in early January to take up a number of issues, and I would hope a concealed carry measure would be top on that list after this recent ruling.”
Illinois National Rifle Association representative Todd Vandermyde will discuss the pro-concealed carry side of the issue Wednesday morning on WTAD. He will make an appearance on The Morning Meeting at 10 am.
“I am a thousand percent for concealed carry and the citizens of Illinois and this nation being able to exercise their right. I have sponsored a couple of pieces of legislation related to concealed carry," said State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville). "I plan to introduce legislation as soon as the 98th General Assembly convenes…my staff is already working on that legislation so I can introduce it as soon as possible.”
The state of Illinois would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons under a federal appeals court ruling issued today, but the judges also gave lawmakers 180 days to put their own version of the law in place.
In a 2-1 decision that is a major victory for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state's ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.
"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 judges ruled.
"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."
David Sigale, an attorney who represented the Second Amendment Foundation in the lawsuit, called the decision by the appeals court in Chicago “historic.”
“What we are most pleased about is how the court has recognized that the Second Amendment is just as, if not at times more, important in public as it is in the home,” he said. “The right of self-defense doesn’t end at your front door.”
In the opinion, Posner wrote that “Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower.”
Illinois is the only state in the nation not to have some form of conceal carry after Wisconsin recently approved law.
"The (Illinois) legislature, in the new session, will be forced to take up a statewide carry law," said NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde.