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Illinois Concealed Carry Law Struck Down

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  December 11th, 2012 14

I was one of those who thought it would be years, if ever, before Illinois citizens would be able to carry concealed weapons. The current equilibrium in the state legislature, where Downstaters deny Chicago an assault weapons ban while those from the state’s largest city return the favor on concealed carry, was just too convenient for both sides.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has tossed a big surprise into that punchbowl, ruling that Illinois’ standing as the only state to forbid any form of concealed carry violates the Second Amendment. “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,” the court said.

At times the court seemed to be holding its nose a bit, but clearly cited the Heller and McDonald decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“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. 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 court gave the state 180 days to craft a concealed carry system passing constitutional muster. What that crafting might yield can be inferred from the confusing remarks of House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie:

“If we need to change the law, let us at least craft a law that is very severely constrained and narrowly tailored so that we don’t invite guns out of control on each of our city’s streets,” Currie said. “I don’t want people out of control wandering the streets with guns that are out of control.”

Cynics will notice the three uses of the phrase “out of control” in 56 words and wonder just what level of control is operational in Chicago, which is having a record run of shootings.

Downstate concealed carry advocates were jubilant and uncompromising in their reaction to the unexpected breadth of the ruling. They have had agonizing negotiations with upstate politicos over very piecemeal improvements in Illinois carry regulations, and now plan to take a firm line with chastened Chicago legislators, who have had first to swallow the McDonald decision and now this one. Rules that would have happily been accepted a month ago are likely to be spurned this time.

Not everyone in Chicago was disappointed. Ald. Howard Brookins, chairman of the City Council black caucus, told the Tribune “I think (law-abiding citizens) have a gun now, they’ve just been made criminals because they can’t legally have it.” And I think the gangbangers and thugs are going to have a gun regardless.”

In light of the Donne Trotter arrest (see below), he might have added that Chicago politicians are also going to have a gun regardless. All that’s changing now is that their constituents will have a chance to be protected in the same fashion.

  • Ronald Williamson

    I believe Illinois NEEDS a concieled carry law. Arizona has had "Open Carry" as long as I can remember. Its not like AZ has a HUGE number of gun crimes. And its not like the "Bangers" are gonna go out of their way to get a license or even go to a Safety Class for that matter !!! If Illinois puts tougher restrictions than what we have then ONLY the Criminals will have guns !! I hope John Sullivan and others read this and realize even OPEN CARRY would make a difference !! Just make everyone take classes to be safe !!

  • Wrat

    I think Barbara Flynn Currie is right to be concerned about "people out of control wandering around the streets with guns that are out of control", but this law is about people who have proven their ability to control themselves being very much in control over their own guns. I hope that somehow sinks in.

  • DocRings

    The legislators who think of these things are retarted. Laws only apply to the good people. the bangers dont' care about gun laws they do what they want. Barbara Flynn Currie needs to join the 20th century where their neighbors to the north(MI) don't have as many issues with those with our CPL's(concealed pistol License). The more that are there with training and willing to act when the need arises will protect more people.

  • Saddam Hussein Obama

    You're all "Out of Control"

    • Southern Boy

      Not out of control in control of our rights to bear arms. Ever law abiding american should be required to carry a gun. robbers will think twice if everybody carrys. Like in the old days. If you kill someone go to court on monday HANG ON FRIDAY NO 20 YEARS LATER.

  • mondo

    Legal good honest people have firearms in Ill, but are doing it illegally and always has. Now they can be legal like the rest of America can and should be able to be per our Second Amendment right to have a firearm inside or outside of the home for self defense and safety.
    I was brought up that is better to have a firearm and not need one than to not have one and need one…..
    I hope the state will use common sense when handing out the gun license, but it sounds like in Chicago that people are having a ''record run of shootings'', maybe knowing people are finally able to carry,
    I bet that ''record run of shootings'' rate goes down fast…..or the death rate on robbers increases on attempted robberies and the crime rate goes down quickly, either / or……

  • Daniel Davis

    I live in gun friendly "west Virginia " I can only imagine the relief and happiness of the people of Illinois. I can't imagine not being allowed to protect myself and my family. I don't understand how the powers to be in Illinois can live with themselves. I bet once the people actually get to start carrying a weapon that crime will go down 50%. This is also a HUGE ruling for the gun community. It's one more ruling that it is our constitutional right to arm ourselves. Good for the people of Illinois. "MOLON LABE" from my cold dead hands.

  • Steve Kaiser

    Illinois needs to crafts this concieled carry law verbatim to Arizona. Give the people the right do decide.

  • Ryan

    I wish you would have worded the title better. Very misleading when sharing.

  • Conrad

    So Chicago's murder rate is "under control?"

  • Darrell Golliher Sr.

    More guns "on the streets" in the hands of good honest people will make crime of all kings go DOWN! That's a proven fact.

  • John Dougan

    It's all about control.

  • Chad

    Gun control means HITTING YOUR TARGET!

  • Ouslander

    Two things that hurt guns. Politicians and Rust.

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