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Illinois Supreme Court Declares State's Ban on Carrying Firearms Unconstitutional

Friday, September 13, 2013

In an unusually forceful and straightforward opinion in the case of People v. Aguilar, the Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously held that the state's "comprehensive ban" on the "use of an operable firearm for self-defense outside the home" is invalid on its face under the Second Amendment.  The NRA had participated in the case with an amicus brief. 

The court surveyed the Supreme Court's recent Second Amendment decisions, as well as state and federal precedents from courts in Illinois.  Regarding the significance of the Supreme Court's opinions, it declared: "neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the second amendment's protections to the home.  On the contrary, both decisions contain language strongly suggesting if not outright confirming that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home."  It also characterized the Illinois law as "a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution…."  According to the court, "In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here either."

While the court noted that "we are in no way saying that such a right is unlimited or is not subject to meaningful regulation," it did not condition its holding on any further action by the legislature.  It noted Illinois' recently-enacted Firearm Concealed Carry Act only in passing, stating that it was not "at issue in this case."

Invoking precedents from two federal appellate courts, the Illinois Supreme Court also held that the state's general ban on the possession of concealable firearms by minors does not run afoul of the Second Amendment.  Notably, one of the cases upon which the court relied for this portion of the opinion was National Rifle Ass'n of America, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms [&] Explosives, which upheld a federal prohibition on the sale of handguns by federally licensed dealers to adults aged 18 to 20.  The NRA has recently filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision.  Twenty-two state attorneys general also filed a brief in support of NRA's efforts in that case.

While residents of Illinois eagerly await implementation of the state's new concealed carry licensing process, they can rest assured that under controlling precedent in both state and federal courts, their right to bear arms in self-defense is not a "privilege" bestowed upon them by the legislature but a fundamental right the state and its localities are bound to respect.

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News  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawsuit Filed Against California's Assault Weapons Control Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control ...

Illinois: Senate Passes Legislation that will Close Gun Stores

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Illinois: Senate Passes Legislation that will Close Gun Stores

Today, the Illinois Senate passed an amended version of Senate Bill 1657 by a 30-21 vote.  As amended, SB 1657 would exempt big box stores from its restrictions.

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Gun Laws  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brace Yourself: ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era Policy on Stabilizing Braces

News broke this week that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reconsidered and “clarified” its Jan. 6, 2015 Open Letter on the use of stabilizing braces as shoulder stocks.

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators are Attempting to Sneak their Agenda into Unrelated Legislation

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators are Attempting to Sneak their Agenda into Unrelated Legislation

Yesterday, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton proposed Senate Amendment 1 to his shell bill, Senate Bill 233.

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Monday, April 24, 2017

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss several firearm-related bills, and subcommittee members need to hear from you.

West Virginia: Governor Signs Pro-Gun Bills into Law

Thursday, April 27, 2017

West Virginia: Governor Signs Pro-Gun Bills into Law

Late yesterday, Governor Jim Justice signed two important pro-gun bills into law.

Rhode Island:  House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

Monday, April 24, 2017

Rhode Island: House Committee Will Hear Over a Dozen Gun Bills Tuesday Night

On Tuesday, April 24, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a marathon hearing on several anti-gun bills.

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.

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

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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.