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
Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

A recent article on a gun control news site laments that the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted ballot initiatives to expand gun bans and restrictions. Initiatives in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio and Oregon have stalled, allegedly due to the ...

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

News  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

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.

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

Yes, that title doesn’t make much sense, but neither does a group that promotes banning firearms starting a national organization called Gun Owners for Safety. Nonetheless, The Hill recently reported that the anti-gun group Giffords is doing just ...

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

Montana gun owners have been subjected to an abundance of lies this election season. Leading the misinformation campaign is fake hunting group Montana Hunters & Anglers Leadership Fund. Bankrolled by a wealthy San Francisco Bay ...

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

The confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, are due to begin on October 12th before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

News  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and ...

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

Americans have made clear that they value their Second Amendment rights, especially during uncertain times. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and then widespread civil unrest, Americans have bought firearms in record numbers. Through September, the FBI ...

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

News  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and therefore subject to the National ...

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and ...

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.