Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Illinois Right-to-Carry: Litigation Leads to Legislation

Monday, June 24, 2013

While recent state attacks on popular firearms and on firearm transfers have been the focus of attention, another major front in the battle involves Right-to-Carry litigation. The epicenter of this litigation is in Illinois—still, as this edition of Legal Update goes out, the only state with no law on the books to provide a legal way for residents to carry firearms for self-defense outside one’s home or business for self-defense. But that may be changing, in a way that shows the complex relationship between legislation and litigation.

First, in a major victory for the right of self-defense outside the home, on Dec. 11, 2012 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down Illinois’ ban on carriage. In a decision covering the NRA-backed case of Shepard v. Madigan and a similar non-NRA case, Moore v. Madigan, the court rejected the often-heard claim that the Second Amendment’s protections apply inside the home but not outside, calling such a distinction “irrational.” 

The case was brought by Mary E. Shepard, who was seeking to exercise her right to self-defense following a brutal beating at the hands of a violent criminal. Joining her as a plaintiff was the NRA’s state affiliate, the Illinois State Rifle Association. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action fully funded the case.

In the court’s opinion, Judge Richard Posner relied heavily on the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.  Writing that the defenders of Illinois’ law asked the Seventh Circuit to “repudiate the [Supreme] Court’s historical analysis,” he responded “that we can’t do.” Posner went on to note that Heller “repeatedly invokes a broader Second Amendment right than the right to have a gun in one’s home.” Noting the importance of the Second Amendment on the 18th-century frontier, he added, “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.”

Judge Posner went even further, in fact, suggesting that a stalked or battered woman might have “a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public” than at home: “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right to self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.” He also discussed the Second Amendment’s reference to the right to “bear” arms: “To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.” 

Not surprisingly, Judge Posner—a longtime academic himself, and the author of many books on law and economics—also examined scholarly literature by economists and criminologists who have examined the Right-to-Carry issue. Clearly unpersuaded that a carry ban benefits public safety, he wrote that “the empirical literature on the effects of allowing the carriage of guns in public fails to establish a pragmatic defense of the Illinois law.”

On February 22, the full Seventh Circuit refused Illinois’ request for a rehearing of the case. 

The December decision gave the Illinois legislature until June 9 to write a new law that complies with the decision, and the legislative wrangling began immediately. The result at the end of the session on May 31 was a restrictive “shall issue” permit bill. Contrary to the wishes of Chicago politicians, the bill would make permits valid throughout the state, and even preempt some local ordinances such as Chicago’s firearm permit scheme. But it would also impose major restrictions on where firearms may be carried, and leave intact many local restrictions.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has received a 30-day extension of the court order in the Shepard case until July 9, supposedly to allow for review of the right-to-carry bill. But even if anti-gun Gov. Quinn signs the bill, the state has until July 22 to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. While the Illinois situation clearly shows how a smart litigation strategy can lead to legislative change, we hope that by the time of our next edition, Illinois residents will no longer be in suspense about these critical issues.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Illinois Right-To-Carry Illinois
TRENDING NOW
“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

“Unity” President Vows to “Defeat” America’s Oldest and Largest Civil Rights Group

Biden issued this “pledge” in a January 8 tweet that falsely tried to suggest the men and women of the NRA were somehow implicated in an infamous crime that was committed a decade ago by ...

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

Friday, January 15, 2021

Florida Alert! Gun Bills Filed in Florida - SO FAR

As Legislators begin to file bills for the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, we are getting questions about various bills due to media reports on gun bills.  Below is a partial list of bills we will ...

Double-Standard: Virginia Eliminates Online Carry Courses While Promoting Distancing for Everything Else

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Double-Standard: Virginia Eliminates Online Carry Courses While Promoting Distancing for Everything Else

As part of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly’s sweeping attack on gun rights in 2020, anti-gun lawmakers enacted legislation that made it more difficult for gun owners to obtain the required training ...

OCC Finalizes Non-Discrimination Rule

News  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

OCC Finalizes Non-Discrimination Rule

On January 14, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized an NRA-supported rule to end politically-motivated discrimination in the provision of financial services. The new regulation is now set to take effect on April ...

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

News  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace “Guidance”

On December 23rd, ATF posted a document to its website indicating that its recently published Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” is withdrawn.

NRA Dumps New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

News  

Friday, January 15, 2021

NRA Dumps New York to Reincorporate in Texas, Announces New Strategic Plan

Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New ...

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

News  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Biden to Nominate Anti-Second Amendment Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General

President-elect Joe Biden announced he will nominate U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for Attorney General. Biden’s choice of a noted Second Amendment opponent to lead the Department ...

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

News  

Monday, November 2, 2020

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

While discussion of the Second Amendment and gun control have been noticeably absent from the presidential debates and mainstream media coverage, gun rights are without a doubt on the ballot tomorrow.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.