Illinois Second Amendment Victory is a Good Start

IL General Assembly has 180 days to craft new concealed carry legislation

Given the anti-gun image that Illinois has, thanks in large part to Chicago/Cook County, people may not have had very high hopes when the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed suit in May 2011, suing the state over the prohibition of carrying firearms for self defense.  Gun rights proponents and US Constitution/Bill of Rights fans got good news this week when the decision in Moore et al v. Madigan et al was handed down.

The lawsuit alleged that the statutes which ban carrying handguns for self defense are “inconsistent with the Second Amendment.”  SAF executive VP Alan Gottleib pointed out that “Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens.”  SAF attorney David Jensen said that it was “incredible that this situation has persisted even in light of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald”

The 7th US Court of Appeals this week issued a ruling which stated that “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” and continued “a blanket prohibition on carrying gun (sic) in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home; and so substantial a curtailment of the right of armed self-defense requires a greater showing of justification than merely that the public might benefit on balance from such a curtailment, though there is no proof it would.

Judge Richard Posner, writing for the majority, gives the Illinois legislature a 180 day deadline “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.”  Posner further noted that “to confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.

Gottleib said that SAF is “very happy” with Posner’s majority opinion and called it “a victory for Illinois citizens who have been long denied a right recognized in the other 49 states.”

NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre was also enthusiastic about the ruling, saying that “[this] ruling is a victory for all law abiding citizens in Illinois and gun owners throughout the country.”  NRA-ILA executive director Chris W. Cox expressed similar enthusiasm while adding that it is “a step in the right direction for all gun owners” but that “it probably won’t be the end of this case.”

The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) voiced similar concerns about a continued battle for gun rights in Illinois.  ISRA warned that some members of the Illinois General Assembly may try to “hijack” the ruling by introducing concealed carry bills with strict provisions that would prevent most applicants from qualifying for a permit.  Another concern of ISRA is that some lawmakers may use this ruling as an opportunity to work gun taxes, additional bans and other means of gun control into the upcoming legislation.  Given the “reasonable limitations” language and the fashion in which such language has been interpreted in the past, the concerns are most definitely valid.

Join the discussion in the comment section below on in the GunLink Forums thread on the topic.

One Response to Illinois Second Amendment Victory is a Good Start

  • Jonbouy says:

    I am very proud of this victory and appreciate SAF’s & IllinoisCarry for their many efforts to get this done.
    Unfortunately we didn’t even have a week until Sandy Hook’s awful events. Now, IL’s lame duckers will hold session in very early 2013 and most likely attempt to introduce and pass the so called, assault weapons ban, as stupid as that is. Gov Quinn and his Cook county crooks has been running IL in the ground like his jailed predecessors.
    If you live in IL, TIME TO STAND UP!

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