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Federal court strikes down Illinois ban on carrying firearms in public

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday struck down an Illinois law that forbid a person from carrying a firearm in public, ruling that the law conflicted with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Heller held the Second Amendment protects Americans right to keep and bear arms “in defense of hearth and home.” Writing the court’s majority opinion, Judge Richard Posner ruled that the self-defense rationale underlying Heller applied outside the home as well (PDF).

“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,” Posner explained in his ruling.

“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.”

Illinois is the only state to have a blanket prohibition on carrying a usable gun in public. The other 49 states allow citizens to carry certain firearms in public, but some states require a permit. Posner held Illinois had not provided sufficient evidence that striking down the ban would increase the crime or death rates.

“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,” he wrote. “It has failed to meet this burden.”

Posner ordered for the ruling to be stayed, giving the Illinois legislature six months to come up with a new law permitting the carrying of guns.

The case was sparked by a lawsuit filed by former corrections officer Michael Moore and the Second Amendment Foundation.

“We are very happy with Judge Posner’s majority opinion,” Alan M. Gottlieb, the group’s founder and president, said in a statement. “This is a victory for Illinois citizens who have been long denied a right recognized in the other 49 states; to have the means necessary for self-defense outside the home.

by Anonymousreply 1112/12/2012

Sorry but I work in a service position and see way too much of "the public" every day to ever trust them with carrying guns. I live in Illinois. With the wackos I see every day, I'll probably be dead within the week!

by Anonymousreply 112/11/2012

It seems to me that that our courts don't see a problem with people openly carrying around firearms in public. When I was growing up in CA, I never saw anyone carry a gun openly. It just seems so counter to commonsense.

I'm so tired of our gun culture. I'm not one of those people who will blame guns rights for every shooting, but the general public also have rights. The idea of someone openly carrying his gun into the movie theater or just as a grocery store seems like a violation of the rights of the general public.

Guns do kill. Accidents do happen. Just a few days ago, a father shoots his son dead in their truck because he didn't know there was a bullet inside.

by Anonymousreply 212/11/2012

Reading Twitter mentions of this story earlier today gave me the creeps pretty bad, although I guess it is probably pretty hard to express extreme excitement over being allowed to carry a gun in public without coming off as the kind of person who should never be allowed to carry a gun in public.

by Anonymousreply 312/11/2012

Good for them.

by Anonymousreply 412/12/2012

[quote]Just a few days ago, a father shoots his son dead in their truck because he didn't know there was a bullet inside.

Stories like these drive me nuts -- gun owners are supposed to be so responsible (if you believe the NRA hype) and rule one is to always treat any firearm as if it is loaded.

by Anonymousreply 512/12/2012

In areas where the law-abiding citizens are known to be armed the rate of violent crime (including burglaries, muggings, etc) is basically zero.

by Anonymousreply 612/12/2012

where did you get that stat r6?

by Anonymousreply 712/12/2012

It's untrue, but it's the kind of shit Judge Posner said, proving he is a brainless freak.

by Anonymousreply 812/12/2012

We need to start a program to fund guns for the homeless. It's hard on the street and they need to protect themselves.

by Anonymousreply 912/12/2012

The 7th Circuit Appeals Court is extremely conservative and reflects views like Posner's.

by Anonymousreply 1012/12/2012


More than any other circuit, the Seventh not only breaks from other circuits, but is often upheld by the SCOTUS.

In an employment case, for example, they were the only circuit to rule that retaliation by an employer need not be job-related (e.g., if your boss shoots out your tires in retaliation for you complaining) to be actionable. The SCOTUS agreed with them.

The same has happened with other cases. This circuit is basically the opposite of the Ninth when it comes to respect.

by Anonymousreply 1112/12/2012
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