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Federal Court Strikes Down Illinois Concealed Carry Ban

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 11, 2012 8:00PM

Photo credit: Gun Control Debate
In what is being hailed as an “historic” victory by gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Illinois’ ban on concealed was unconstitutional. Illinois is the only state that doesn’t allow concealed carry.

Judge Richard Posner wrote in the 2-1 decision Illinois concealed carry ban “failed to meet (the) burden” of public safety that inspired the law.

“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.”

Posner added in his opinion:

“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.”

The appeals court gave Illinois lawmakers 180 days to draft a bill that will allow concealed carry of weapons, with reasonable limits. National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde called the ruling a sweeping victory and that gun rights advocates will not compromise with legislators on a concealed carry bill with limitations. “The debate is over. We won. And there will be a statewide carry law in 2013.” Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie told the Chicago Tribune she hopes the state will appeal the ruling. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, another opponent of concealed carry, has not issued a statement on the ruling. The Stop Concealed Carry Coalition released a statement urging Madigan to appeal.

“As the dissenting opinion points out, the two judges who threw out Illinois' law did not take account of the danger to the public from stray bullets, and they ignored the Illinois legislature's determination that carrying weapons has been shown to escalate violence,” said Lee Goodman, an organizer with the Stop Concealed Carry Coalition. “The decision, contrary to fundamental legal principles, took away the people's right, through their state legislatures, to make laws to protect themselves that are relevant to the conditions present in each state.” “The two judges who struck down Illinois' law accepted without proof the NRA's argument that guns in public places protect people, and ignored the fact that guns tend to create a greater danger than exists when guns are not present,” Goodman continued. “The same judges who just set guns loose on Chicago's streets sit in offices and courtrooms that are protected by federal security guards and metal detectors. No guns are allowed in their building. Isn't it pretty obvious that they know that guns are dangerous?”

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling On Illinois Concealed Carry Ban