Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

Recently in laws Category

ConcealCarry-ABN-0807.jpg

SPRINGFIELD - In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a divided federal appeals court in Chicago Tuesday tossed the state's ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave Illinois' Legislature 180 days to craft a law legalizing concealed carry.

"The debate is over. We won. And there will be a statewide carry law in 2013," said Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.

In a split opinion (see below), the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling in two cases downstate that upheld the state's longstanding prohibition against carrying concealed weapons.

Illinois is the only state with an outright prohibition on concealed carry.

MAP: See what the concealed carry laws are state-by-state.


"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," Judge Richard Posner wrote in the court's majority opinion.

"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," he continued.

"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," Posner wrote.