Federal appeal court rules that Illinois’ ban on concealed handguns is unconstitutional

On Tuesday a federal appellate court in Chicago held that Illinois’ absolute ban on concealed handguns outside of the home was unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to write a new concealed carry law.

Gun rights groups should be pleased with Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner’s blunt finding that the inconclusive, empirical literature on the effects of permitting concealed guns, which he documents and describes, fails to justify Illinois’ absolute ban.

Posner concluded, “The Supreme Court has decided that the [Second] amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside.”

The decision was built upon the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that a total ban of handguns in the home is unconstitutional.

Although the ruling is a major win for the gun lobby, the holding is unlikely to have far-reaching effects because Illinois is the only state in the country to have an absolute ban on concealed handguns.

Almost every state issues concealed carry permits if citizens meet certain requirements, although a few states retain some discretion to issue permits only to citizens who can prove a need to carry a gun.  Four states, including liberal Vermont, allow citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

The federal court’s decision in Illinois did not address the constitutionality of various restrictions on the carrying of concealed guns at “sensitive” places such as schools, airports, churches nor did it address any particular concealed carry permitting requirement.

However, in recent years state legislators have been pushing to permit concealed guns in places where they have been prohibited in the past, which may potentially lead to high-profile litigation on area-specific prohibitions in the future. For example, in 2012, 16 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on public college campuses. Five states – Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin – all currently permit the carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses due to recent legislation and court rulings.

As states continue to become less restrictive in their concealed carry laws (just two decades ago most states did not permit concealed weapons), it becomes more and more obvious that allowing citizens to carry guns does not have the negative societal consequences often predicted by the Left.  For example, Washington D.C., which overturned its gun ban in 2008, is on pace to record the fewest homicides in the District since 1963.

The increased national acceptance of guns by Americans means that the court simply confirmed what most Americans already knew: the right to “keep and bear arms” can’t stop at a citizen’s front door.

Comments

Polititainment

Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

O'Reilly v Stewart on 'white privilege'

Jon Stewart had one goal in bringing Bill O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening: "I want you to admit that there is such a thing as white privilege."

Galifianakis gives Obama a nickname
Zach Galifianakis once came up with a very special nickname for President Obama, he recounted on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night. It all started when Galifianakis came to the White House to film the Emmy-winning “Between Two Ferns” episode to promote Obamacare. “Before we went to interview the president, I ate in the White House […]

White House

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]
Obama reveals his favorite Supreme Court decision

President Obama dished on his favorite Supreme Court decision during his presidency, and it wasn’t either of his interviewer’s top guesses.

Congress

Republicans say they will reform the IRS

Republicans are talking about reforming the IRS if they gain the majority in the Senate next month, but seem to be treading with caution on making any specific promises.

'Wastebook' finds $25B in 'unnecessary' spending
Monkey gambling, synchronized swimming sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills, oh my! Sen. Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) released his fifth and final “Wastebook” Wednesday, chronicling $25 billion tax dollars spent on 100  “silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects” this year. His findings are absolutely astonishing. Coburn, who is retiring this year, is not letting his fellow […]
Dems target Republicans as extremists on ed issues

Democrats this election cycle are working hard to paint their Republican opponents as wild extremists who would slash all funding for student loans.

Udall struggles to think of his favorite books

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed a bit rattled in his recent interview with ABC 7 News.

Rand Paul: W.H. hasn’t accurately described Ebola
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Bloomberg politics he believes that the White House has been inaccurately depicting the risks of contracting Ebola. “I think from the very beginning they haven’t been completely forthright with us,” said Paul. “They’ve so wanted to downplay this that they really I don’t think have been very accurate in their […]