On a day gun right activists will never forget, the US 7th Circuit Court ruled Illinois’ law banning citizens from carrying weapons as unconstitutional. In a 2-1 vote, the court confirmed that the 2nd Amendment is broader than carrying a gun inside your home. This momentous ruling gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.”
As the web is abuzz with speculations of what Illinois new concealed (or open) carry laws will be, many are hopeful for Tennessee, Kentucky or Utah-like laws. Todd Vandermyde, the NRA’s chief lobbyist in Illinois, noted, “The anti-gunners have been preparing for this contingency, but we will not have the law that they want: New Jersey on steroids. We have the majority in both chambers. We will have a Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida-style law.”
On the flip side of the coin, the battle is not be over yet. Gun control activists have urged Illinois’ attorney general, Lisa Madigan, to appeal the 7th Circuit Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court. Even if there isn’t an appeal, the specifics of Illinois’ new gun laws must be drafted and passed by the legislature. “I expect a battle,” said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a longtime gun control advocate. “The proponents of concealed carry have not yet carried the day.” Gun right supporters have a reason to continue this long-fought battle. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said any law must include “reasonable restrictions”, such as prohibiting people with a history of mental illness from carrying weapons.
With opposition still strong in Illinois, gun right supporters will have to keep fighting their battle to get the concealed carry laws that properly reflect American’s rights, as set forth in the Constitution.
Yesterday’s ruling was momentous and certainly a call for celebration, but the battle is not yet won. We’ve still got 179 days before Illinois’ new gun laws will be unveiled. What do you think their new laws will be like?