Concealed Carry Coming to Illinois

By:  James Heiser
12/13/2012
       
Concealed Carry Coming to Illinois

In a decision that portends the end of decades of defiance to the basic tenets of the Second Amendment, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down those statutes in the state of Illinois that interfered with the basic rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.

In a decision that portends the end of decades of defiance of the basic tenets of the Second Amendment, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down those statutes in the state of Illinois that interfered with the basic rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. The Democrat Illinois attorney general and the mayor of Chicago are weighing various strategies to combat the enactment of the court ruling, but the Seventh Court has decreed that the legislature has 180 days to reform the state’s gun laws.

The court bases its decision to overturn Illinois’ restrictions on the open and concealed carry of firearms on a clear understanding of the intent of the Second Amendment, and the interpretation of that amendment which was offered by the U.S. Supreme Court in rulings in 2008 and 2010. In the words of Judge Posner’s opinion:

One doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. Suppose one lived in what was then the wild west — the Ohio Valley for example (for until the Louisiana Purchase the Mississippi River was the western boundary of the United States), where there were hostile Indians. One would need from time to time to leave one’s home to obtain supplies from the nearest trading post, and en route one would be as much (probably more) at risk if unarmed as one would be in one’s home unarmed.…

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. A woman who is being stalked or has obtained a protective order against a violent ex-husband is more vulnerable to being attacked while walking to or from her home than when inside. She has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress. But Illinois wants to deny the former claim, while compelled by McDonald to honor the latter. That creates an arbitrary difference. 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.

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